In August of 2013, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky decided a case that involved a Kentucky sexual harassment retaliation plaintiff. (See Montell v. Diversified Clinical Services Inc., 2013 WL 4521014 (E.D. Ky 2013)). The defendants filed a motion to dismiss. The court looked at all the evidence and granted the defendants their motion for the following reasons.
The plaintiff is a female who alleged that she was sexually harassed while at work. She worked for the defendants from November of 2009 to May of 2011. Id. She claimed that her supervisor sexually harassed her and that after she reported it that she was retaliated against and constructively discharged. Id.
The plaintiff as the program director had certain profit goals to meet. Plaintiff’s goals were not being met. She was not performing to task. She finally received a written warning and eventually terminated. Plaintiff had filed a complaint of discrimination with HR but she was terminated shortly thereafter. So, on May 2, 2012, plaintiff hired a Kentucky sexual harassment retaliation lawyer and sued her former employer.
As to the Kentucky sexual harassment claim, the court did not believe that three incidents over an 18-month period constituted sexual harassment. Though the comments may have been inappropriate and very unprofessional, they did not rise to the level of actionable harassment. Id. Plaintiff’s Kentucky sexual harassment retaliation lawyer had a very difficult case to win.
The next claim was for intentional infliction of emotional distress. “To establish an IIED claim under Kentucky law, the plaintiff must demonstrate: 1) the wrongdoer’s conduct must be intentional or reckless, 2) the conduct must be outrageous and intolerable in that it offends against the generally accepted standards of decency and morality, 3) there must be a causal connection between the wrongdoer’s conduct and the emotional distress, and 4) the emotional distress must be severe.” (cites omitted). The court did not find the comments intentional or reckless and did not find that they were outrageous or intolerable. Also, the court did not find that plaintiff’s emotional distress was severe. Id.
Finally, as the retaliation claim, the court reviewed the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. Id. To establish a retaliation claim, the plaintiff must show that “1) she engaged in an activity protected by Title VII, 2) the exercise of her civil rights was known by the defendant, 3) thereafter, the defendant took an employment action adverse to the plaintiff, and 4) there was a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse employment action.” (cites omitted).
The court viewed the evidence and found that no causal connection existed between the protected activity and the adverse employment action when an employer was already contemplating the adverse employment action prior to the protected complaint. Id. The Kentucky sexual harassment retaliation female plaintiff was already on a Final Warning when she filed her complaint and did not meet her goals, and thus was terminated. Id.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky sexual harassment retaliation case, please call and speak to a Kentucky sexual harassment retaliation lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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