In February of 2013, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky heard a case involving motions to dismiss and summary judgment motions in a Kentucky sex discrimination and hostile work environment case that involved both Title VII and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (“KCRA”). (See Watts v. Lyon County Ambulance Service, 2013 WL 557274 (W.D. KY 2013)). In this case, the plaintiff was hired as a director in September of 2009. It was approved by the Fiscal Court. The plaintiff made claims that he was asked to fraudulently charge Medicare and Medicaid excessive rates for ambulance services. The plaintiff claims he refused to do so and that upset his supervisors, plaintiff claims they orchestrated false sexual harassment claims against him and eventually led to his termination in June of 2011.
Plaintiff eventually hired a Kentucky sex discrimination and hostile work environment lawyer to sue on his behalf. In his amended complaint he alleged eight claims with the most serious being the sex discrimination in violation of Title VII and KCRA and the unlawful discharge in violation of the False Claims Act. His Kentucky Sex Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment lawyer filed a very thorough complaint.
The court in this Kentucky sex discrimination and hostile work environment case first looked at the motion to dismiss the Fiscal Court as defendants. In that aspect the court granted it as the plaintiff put forth no evidence that they did anything with regard to his termination. They did not exercise any power, oversight, or control over the Ambulance Service. Id.
Next, the Kentucky court looked at the Kentucky hostile work environment issue. The plaintiff can show a Title VII violation by proving that the discrimination based on sex created a hostile work environment. Id. It has to be shown that the workplace is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment. Id. “To establish a prima facie case of discrimination based on hostile work environment, a plaintiff must demonstrate that 1) he is a member of a protected class, 2) he was subjected to harassment, either through words or actions, based on his sex, 3) the harassment based the effect of unreasonably interfering with his work performance and creating an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment, and 4) there exists some basis for liability on the employer.” (cites omitted). In Kentucky and all other states, Title VII sex discrimination extends to women and men. Id. So, as to his count, the court held that more discovery was needed before it could render a decision.
Next, the court looked at the False Claims Act, which protects whistleblowers exposing fraud against the United States government. Id. The court looked at what was needed to show retaliation. As to this allegation, the court held that the plaintiff did not support his contention. He did not report fraud on the government with any internal report. He did not conduct any investigation nor did he detail any fraudulent practices. Accordingly, this Kentucky claim was dismissed.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky Sex Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment case, please call and speak to a Kentucky Sex Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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