was effective, for about two seconds per instance. We agree with AT&T's assessment that what Saxton perceives to be the "desired effect" is not the proper inquiry. The question is whether the course of action taken by AT&T was "reasonably likely to prevent the misconduct from recurring." Guess, 913 F.2d at 465. The misconduct in this case was Richardson's condescending comments, teasing, and impatience. After Richardson was transferred, this conduct ceased. Saxton has not alleged that any of the complained-of conduct has recurred. Therefore, as a matter of law, AT&T's actions were reasonable.
C. Constructive Discharge
Notwithstanding the substance of Saxton's sexual harassment charges and the appropriateness of AT&T's response, Title VII only allows for equitable relief.
Therefore, Saxton's only possible recovery in this case, since she is not interested in having her employment with AT&T reinstated, is limited to backpay if she was "constructively discharged." See Brooms v. Regal Tube Co., 881 F.2d 412, 423 (7th Cir. 1989). "An employer constructively discharges an employee only if it 'makes an employee's working conditions so intolerable that the employee is forced into an involuntary resignation.'" Weihaupt v. American Medical Association, 874 F.2d 419, 426 (7th Cir. 1989) (quoting Bartman v. Allis-Chalmers Corp., 799 F.2d 311, 314 (7th Cir. 1986) (emphasis in Bartman). Whether Saxton's work environment was "so intolerable" as to justify her resignation, must be determined by a reasonable person standard. Brooms, 881 F.2d at 423. "An employee may not be unreasonably sensitive to his working environment." Id. (quoting Johnson v. Bunny Bread Co., 646 F.2d 1250, 1256 (8th Cir. 1981).
While the issue of constructive discharge is normally a question for the trier of fact, thus precluding summary judgment, we conclude that, as a matter of law, the present facts do not constitute a constructive discharge. See Bailey v. Binyon, 583 F. Supp. 923, 929 (N.D. Ill. 1984). After the AT&T investigation of Saxton's charges and the subsequent corrective action, Saxton unreasonably refused to continue her employment, resulting in a voluntary resignation. The record reveals that after Richardson was transferred Saxton was offered additional work in the project management tools group. Although Saxton admitted there was work available for her in this area, she refused to work in the group because she believed she should have been offered a position in requirement development or as a project coordinator. Why Saxton believed she was entitled to a higher position is not clear. What is clear, however, is that Saxton's working conditions were not "so difficult or unpleasant that a reasonable person in the employee's shoes would have felt compelled to resign." Bourque v. Powell Electrical Manufacturing Co., 617 F.2d 61, 65 (5th Cir. 1980) (quoting Alicea Rosado v. Garcia Santiago, 562 F.2d 114, 119 (1st Cir. 1977). Saxton could have pursued a number of other courses while remaining on the job. Instead, she ignored repeated attempts by her manager, admonishing her to report to work. "An employee must seek legal redress while remaining in his or her job unless confronted with an 'aggravated situation' beyond 'ordinary' discrimination." Brooms, 881 F.2d at 423 (quoting Bailey, 583 F. Supp. at 929). Saxton has not only failed to establish a genuine issue as to any ordinary discrimination, but she falls way short of showing that it would be reasonable to conclude that she was confronted with an aggravated situation beyond ordinary discrimination. In short, as a matter of law, her refusal to report to work was tantamount to a voluntary resignation and not a constructive discharge as required by Title VII.
We hold that Saxton has failed to establish a genuine issue as to any material fact regarding her allegations of sexual harassment. Also, even assuming Saxton was a victim of sexual harassment, AT&T, as a matter of law, took appropriate corrective action. Finally, Saxton was not constructively discharged and thus not entitled to the relief she seeks. AT&T's motion for summary judgment is hereby granted.
JAMES B. MORAN, Chief Judge, United States District Court
February 6, 1992.