Reeves v C.H. Robinson Worldwide
2008 525 F.3d 1139
Facts of the case: Ingrid Reeves, a Transportation Sales Representative files an appeal on the summary judgment in favor if C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. on her hostile work environment sexual harassment claims. Reeves was the only female TSR in the C.H. Robinson Birmingham, Alabama branch office. She worked in a workstation pod cubicle and claims that sexually offensive language permeated the air in her pod daily from the Summer of 2001 to the Spring of 2004. In addition to sexually explicit radio programming she was on one occasion exposed to pornographic images. This behavior continued even after several complaints to her co-workers and supervisors.
Issues to be Discussed/Decided by the court: The court has to determine whether daily exposer to language and radio programming that are particularly offensive to women but not directly targeted at the plaintiff are sufficient to satisfy the “based on” and “severe or pervasive” elements of a hostile work claim.
Holding(s): The grounds for a Title VII sexual harassment claim can be either a tangible employment action or the creation of a hostile work environment caused by sexual harassment that is severe or persuasive enough to affect the terms and conditions of work. In order to recover under the hostile work environment theory an employee must show (1) that she belongs to the protected group, (2) she has been subject to unwelcomed sexual harassment, (3)the harassment was based on membership in the protected group, (4) harassment was sufficiently severe or persuasive enough to alter the terms and conditions of employment and create an abusive work environment, and (5) basis for holding the employer liable exists The only element s at issue are the “based on” and “severe and pervasive” elements The issue of “based on” in order to be satisfied the plaintiff must show that similarly situated members of the opposite sex were...