Jennifer Ohda was hired in 2004 as a part-time mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in South Bend. On her first day, Ohda was assigned to a male training officer named Dale. At the end of Ohda’s shift, a supervisor, Linda Batteast, said, “Dale, tell your little helper to go home tonight and eat something.”
Over the next few weeks, Batteast continued to call Ohda a “little helper” and referred to Ohda’s weight in front of male co-workers. In August, Ohda met with several managers, including the South Bend postmaster, to complain. The managers told her Batteast is a good employee who may have been having a bad day.
The next day, Ohda resigned. She later sued for sexual harassment and constructive discharge—essentially contending that she had no choice but to quit. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was the basis for her lawsuit.
The court found that the harassment Ohda suffered was not based on her sex. Also, the court ruled that “two or three offhand statements by a supervisor” were not severe or pervasive enough to constitute harassment. Title VII, the court noted, is not a “general civility code.”
- Employee has routine gripe about timekeeping? That's not necessarily protected activity
- EEOC's bias decision doesn't bind federal court
- Sexual Harassment: Overview
- Ohio disability law doesn't cover temporary injuries
- 6 years is long enough: Are quick dismissals on the way following 7th Circuit's rebuke?