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00-1911 Haugerud v. Amery School District

Minnesota Lawyer//August 6, 2001

00-1911 Haugerud v. Amery School District

Minnesota Lawyer//August 6, 2001

“[P]laintiff presents a variety of incidents in which she – the only day custodian at the high school and the only female custodian at the high school since March of 1999 – was harassed by the male superintendent, the male principal, her male supervisor, and the male night custodians. This harassment was not of a sexual nature but rather it was directed at the terms and conditions of her employment: questioning her abilities and the ability of women to do her job in general, plotting to give her job to a male custodian, increasing her duties in an attempt to make her quit, withholding necessary assistance, hiding the tools necessary to do her job, making discriminatory comments, and so forth. While none of these incidents were particularly severe, they are sufficiently pervasive, and they seem to have unreasonably interfered with her ability to do her job.

“The sum total of plaintiff’s allegations – the school board decree, the discriminatory comments, the increased workload, the failure to assist plaintiff, and the evidence of attempts to hinder her performance of her job duties – could lead a reasonable trier of fact to find a ‘general hostility to the presence of women in the workplace.’… [W]e conclude that a reasonable fact finder could find that plaintiff was treated differently than her male colleagues because of her sex, in a manner that was both subjectively and objectively harassing, and at a sufficient level of pervasiveness to trigger liability under Title VII.”

Affirmed in part, and Reversed in part.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Shabaz, J., Kanne, J.

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