Guadalajara vs. Honeywell International Inc.

Guadalajara vs. Honeywell International Inc. is a new case that is related to the one at our firm. In this case, the complainant sued the defendant firm after being sexually harassed at work by one of his coworkers. The court was therefore charged with deciding whether Sanchez's actions were taunting and whether sticking his fingertips in the plaintiff's anus was necessary to establish an offensive working atmosphere.

Court Considerations

The number of times an alleged sexual assault incident has occurred, as well as whether the action humiliates or harms the victim, would be considered by the courts in deciding whether a given employment environment is hostile. The court will also discern whether or not the manner in which Sanchez acted was taunting, and whether inserting his fingers in the plaintiff's anus was sufficient to create an abusive working environment. The courts in determining a particular work environment as abusive will look at the number of times an alleged sexual harassment incident has occurred, whether the action humiliates or threatens the victim. The court will also discern whether or not the alleged sexual utterance affects the overall productivity of an employee.

Defendant's Argument and Court's Decision

The defendant company argued that the threshold needed to be met was that of highlighting the sexual assault was both pervasive and severe, but the court faulted this reasoning and stated that only one of the facts needed to be proved in order for an action to arise. The defendant company sought to rely on the above viewpoint in order to dismiss the plaintiff's case totality by issuing a summary judgment. The company also alleged that the plaintiff failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the said harassment was premised on sex, and that the company acted promptly in remedying the situation as is provided by law, therefore, were exempted from liability.

Court's Decision on Evidence and Threshold for Same-Sex Harassment

After considering the facts of the case, the court held that the evidence that was adduced by the plaintiff relating to anal penetration was probative, and this proved that the alleged contact was intentional and not accidental as was stated by the defendant. The court stated that the apparent assault was a severe form of harassment, and the defendant could not avoid liability by adducing summary judgment evidence that purported to highlight the lack of pervasiveness or severity. The court in setting the threshold for proving same-sex harassment stated that one needed to establish that a said employee fell under the category of a protected category of people. The victim needs to prove that they were subjected to harassment based on sex discrimination. Finally, the harassment needed to affect the manner in which the employee engaged in their work. These grounds were set in E.E.O.C. vs. Boh Bros. Constr.Co., L.L.C.

Summary Judgment Applications

From the facts of the case, the plaintiff proved all of these grounds; therefore the application to get leave from the court for summary judgment was dismissed. The plaintiff also had applied for a summary judgment against the plaintiff on the basis that the protected activity that he engaged in to prevent himself from sexual harassment led to a retaliatory action by the defendant company. The defendant in defense alleged that the plaintiff by threatening Sanchez went contrary to the company guidelines and was liable for suspension, and his case could not be treated in isolation. The plaintiff’s claim was also defeated by the fact that the defendant also took some steps to prevent the harassment from taking place the moment they knew about it. The court admitted the defendant's evidence and gave an order dismissing both the plaintiff's and defendant's summary judgment applications.

Works Cited

E.E.O.C. vs. Boh Bros. Constr. Co., L.L.C., 731 F.3d 444, 453 (5th Cir. 2013)

Roberto Guadalajara vs. Honeywell International, Inc. 2016 WL 8542542

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