Ray v. Int’l Paper Co. (P)

The district court erred in granting summary judgment as to the appellant’s claims that she suffered a hostile work environment and retaliation until Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The record could support a jury determination that the appellant suffered a tangible employment action when her supervisor eliminated her voluntary overtime work. Ray testified that his decision prevented her from performing higher-paying work, negatively affecting her income. Previously, the appellant was regularly permitted to work for four hours before her shift at time-and-a-half. A reasonable jury could determine that losing this income constituted a significant change in her benefits.

The appellant testified that her supervisor repeatedly had offered her money in exchange for sex. On one occasion after eliminating her ability to perform voluntary overtime work, he asked her whether she wanted to make extra money and told her to meet him after work. It’s impossible to separate his motive for eliminating her voluntary overtime from his inappropriate conduct.

The appellant also has adduced evidence that she earned substantially less income after complaining about her supervisor’s conduct. On its face, this decrease in income constituted an adverse employment action. She complained about her supervisor multiple times; he learned about these complaints and confronted her. Around the same time, he prevented her from her usual practice of performing voluntary overtime work.

Summary judgment vacated and remanded.

Ray v. Int’l Paper Co. (P), No. 17-2241, Nov. 28, 2018. 4th Cir. (Keenan) from DSC at Spartanburg (Cain).

Categories: 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Opinions, Published

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