Brief Summary of Facts and Allegations:
Plaintiff was a 22 year old male emergency medical technician at an ambulance company, who was promoted during his employment to a field supervisor. Plaintiff contended that he was sexually harassed by his former female married supervisor. He claimed that she sexually harassed him by engaging in such things as:
- Commenting that she liked his hair long
- Prying into his personal life
- Expressing intimate feelings for him by reading him portions from the book, “The English Patient”
- Touching his hair
- Giving him two gifts
- Brushing up against him in the hallway and
- Grabbing his hand and placing it against her body.
Plaintiff further contended that after he complained to the Regional Manager two separate times, nothing was done; the company did not conduct a prompt investigation, and when they did it was improper, ineffective, and damaging to him. Plaintiff continued to work three months after the accused harasser resigned her employment. As a result of the employer’s alleged faulty investigation, plaintiff contended that he was constructively discharged from his employment.
The employer contended that the accused supervisor was interested in Plaintiff for a brief period of time when she was having marital difficulties. Significantly, all of the evidence presented at trial showed that Plaintiff did not reject her, but openly reciprocated. Witness after witness testified to observing Plaintiff make sexual comments to the alleged harasser, and other women, and that he openly and affectionately touched her in the workplace throughout her employment. After she reconciled with her husband and informed Plaintiff that she was going to make her marriage work, Plaintiff refused to work with her. She voluntarily resigned.
Soon after she sued the Company for sexual harassment, sex discrimination and constructive discharge. The Court denied the employer’s motion for summary judgment based on a declaration submitted by the plaintiff expanding on his allegations at deposition claiming that she grabbed his crotch, which was sufficient to send the case to a jury trial.
The Trial & Verdict:
At the beginning of trial, Plaintiff waived his right to jury trial significantly reducing the trial estimate from several weeks to one week. The vast majority of the time was spent cross-examining Plaintiff, impeaching his credibility with documents and sworn deposition testimony. Witnesses for the Defendant consistently testified that Plaintiff openly flirted with his supervisor and was never offended by anything she, or anyone else said. Plaintiff contended that he was rejected from similar positions because he was forced to reveal his sexual harassment claim, even though he was rejected from similar positions before he made a claim. Plaintiff claimed he lost approximately $700,000 in wages by not being hired by the Sheriff’s Department after he left his employment. Defendant contended that Plaintiff’s claim for physical, emotional and psychological suffering was non-existent and that he did not even consult a psychologist until almost a year after his supervisor left his employment.