Magazine article HRMagazine

Leering Doesn't Establish Hostile Work Environment

Magazine article HRMagazine

Leering Doesn't Establish Hostile Work Environment

Article excerpt

Lewis v. City of Norwalk, 2nd Cir., No. 13-2485.

Upholding summary dismissal of a same-sex harassment claim, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a supervisor's periodic leering and licking of his lips were not sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Former city of Norwalk, Conn., employee Oswald Lewis alleged that, beginning in 2006, his openly gay super- visor, Thomas Hamilton, " 'leered' at Lewis, looking from his crotch to his head while smiling, and ... made ges- tures with his tongue." According to Lewis, this conduct occurred multiple times per week in 2006 but "became more sporadic over time."

In May 2010, Lewis met with Ham- ilton and the city's director of personnel and labor relations, James Haselkamp, to review his performance evaluation. Like his prior evaluations, Lewis' 2009- 10 evaluation reflected problems with the quality of his work product. During the meeting, Hamilton and Haselkamp offered Lewis the opportunity to resign in exchange for a severance package but stated that if Lewis did not resign, they would remove him.

Lewis refused to resign and instead complained of Hamilton's conduct pursu- ant to the city's sexual harassment policy. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.