Title VII Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment Claim Dismissed, Absent Further Details of Alleged Harassment

In Mays v. Powder Coating Plus, Inc., 2024 WL 894948 (D.Nev. Feb. 29, 2024), the court, inter alia, granted defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claim of sexual harassment asserted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

From the decision:

Plaintiff does not allege any subjection to sexual conduct that was linked to any adverse employment action. She alleges that the work environment was hostile and that the owner was dating her manager. The Court therefore liberally construes her sexual harassment claim as part of her hostile work environment claim. A hostile work environment must be objectively hostile, i.e., a reasonable person would find the environment hostile, and subjectively hostile. Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc., 510 U.S. 17, 21-22, 114 S. Ct. 367, 126 L. Ed. 2d 295 (1993). A hostile work environment claim cannot be maintained where the misconduct is not severe or pervasive enough to create an objectively hostile environment. Id. at 21-22. Objective severity is “judged from the perspective of a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position, considering all the circumstances.” Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75, 81, 118 S. Ct. 998, 140 L. Ed. 2d 201 (1998).

Plaintiff’s complaint does not assert conduct which is sufficiently severe or pervasive. She alleges only that the owner dated her manager. She describes a few incidents, such as her boss threatening her, locking her out, and throwing things at her desk, but she provides few details regarding how and when the incidents took place. See Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775, 788, 118 S. Ct. 2275, 141 L. Ed. 2d 662 (1998) (conduct must amount to something more than simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents (unless extremely serious)).

Based on this, the court dismissed plaintiff’s Title VII claim for hostile work environment sexual harassment, but granted plaintiff leave to amend her complaint to correct the noted deficiencies.

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