CourtCases2010

31 f3d 209 214 4th cir1994 the supreme700 courts

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Unformatted text preview: ks and boorish behavior of Mr. Rock *928 that was patently degrading to women was at least sufficient to have a jury consider whether the ambient workplace atmosphere was severe or pervasive, both from a subjective and objective point of view. See Gallagher v. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., 567 F.3d 263 (6th Cir.2009). [14] Finally, there is the fifth element-that there is a basis for holding the employer liable. Appliance Direct properly underscores one of the perceived fundamental weaknesses in Ms. Blizzard's case; that the remarks and actions of her supervisor were not specifically directed to her. Ms. Blizzard posits, on the other hand, that her evidence demonstrated how pervasive the harassment was, and how she was essentially swept up in its backwash. Thus, we are faced with the knotty question of whether harassment in the form of offensive language can be “based on” Ms. Blizzard's membership in a protected group, even when she was not the target of the language, and even though other employees were equally exposed to it. Fortunately, we have the benefit of the case of Jennings, which answers this very question.FN1 We note that this case was not brought to the attention of the trial judge at the time that he directed the verdict. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth 281 Circuit examined the issue that currently confronts us in light of a number of race discrimination cases, such as Spriggs v. Diamond Auto Glass, 242 F.3d 179 (4th Cir.2001). Spriggs held that racially offensive language need not necessarily be targeted at the plaintiff in order to support a claim of hostile workplace environment. We find ourselves in agreement with the Jennings holding, particularly where, as here, the offensive conduct was by the employee's supervisor. Cf., Abeita v. TransAmerica Mailings, Inc., 159 F.3d 246, 252 (6th Cir.1998). FN1. We also take note of the case of Reeves v. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., 525 F.3d 1139, 1145 (11th Cir.2008), reh'g en banc granted, vacated by 56...
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