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Unformatted text preview: supervisor Ronnie Curry's reference to a black employee as a "gorilla" – is simply
not "severe or pervasive enough" to create an objectively hostile work environment.
Racial animus cannot be inferred from a handful of discriminatory comments by lowlevel employees, most of which were not directed at Smith, over a twenty-year span of
time. See Burnett, 2000 WL 145825, at *5 (holding that the occurrence of three sexually
offensive remarks by the plaintiff's personnel manager spread out at the beginning and at
the end of a six-month period were not commonplace, ongoing, or continuing and
therefore not pervasive discriminatory conduct); Black v. Zaring Homes, Inc., 104 F.3d
822, 826 (6th Cir. 1997) (reversing a jury verdict although the plaintiff alleged various
discriminatory comments made consistently over a four-month period, because viewed
under the totality of the circumstances the [*17] comments were merely offensive, and
most were not directed at the plaintiff). Cf. Jackson, 191 F.3d at 658 (finding a racially
hostile work environment where plaintiff established persistent racial slurs and graffiti as
"conventional conditions on the factory floor"); Williams v. General Motor Corp, 187
F.3d 553, 562-66 (6th Cir. 1999) (holding that fifteen separate allegations of persistent
foul language and sexually explicit comments directed at the plaintiff, three of which
involved an "element of physical invasion," offensive comments towards women in
general, denial of the plaintiff's overtime, viewed collectively, created issue of fact that
the plaintiff was subject to a sexually hostile work environment); Abeita v. Transamerica
Mailings, 159 F.3d 246, 252 (6th Cir. 1998) (holding that the plaintiff's allegations of
sexually offensive statements that were commonplace and ongoing over a period of seven
years, coupled with daily statements by the president of the company, with whom the
plaintiff worked closely, about his sexual interest in female employees and models,...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08