The opinion of the court was delivered by: BLANCHE MANNING, District Judge
Plaintiff Marissa Grant brings the present Complaint alleging
claims of hostile work environment based on sexual harassment,
sex discrimination, and retaliation in violation of Title VII,
42 U.S.C. § 2000(e) et seq., and the state law claim of
intentional infliction of emotional distress. The only remaining
defendant in this action is E-Quality Electric, Inc.
("E-Quality"), a former Illinois corporation. The court granted
E-Quality's attorneys' motion to withdraw on April 10, 2003,
based on counsels' assertions that E-Quality was involuntarily
dissolved in June 2002 and that a judgment in an unrelated matter
was partially satisfied by all of E-Quality's available cash and
assets. On April 15, 2004, this court granted plaintiff's motion
for leave to file a Motion for Summary Judgment against
E-Quality. E-Quality has not responded to the plaintiff's motion
despite repeated attempts to contact the defendant and/or
defendants' counsel.*fn1 Accordingly, this court will address the plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment without the benefit of E-Quality's responses.
For the reasons stated below, the court grants the plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment as to Count I, but denies her motion
as to Counts II, III and VII.
Grant was employed by E-Quality as an apprentice electrician
from May 3, 2000, to November 3, 2000, working at Midway
International Airport in Chicago. Johnny Rayborn, a former
defendant in this action, was the General Foreman at E-Quality
during the relevant time period. As the General Foreman, Rayborn
was considered a member of E-Quality's management. In the
E-Quality organizational hierarchy, Rayborn was directly under
the president and CEO, Reginald Harston.
During Grant's employment with E-Quality, Rayborn harassed
Grant with sexually suggestive comments, unwanted touching, and
sexual advances on a daily basis. Grant continuously made Rayborn
aware that she was not interested in his advances and did not
appreciate his sexually offensive remarks and conduct. She
repeatedly asked him to stop. Nevertheless, Rayborn would go to
Grant's work area a couple of times a day and disrupt Grant's
work while making these sexual comments and advances.
Consequently, Grant would become extremely distracted and had
difficulty maintaining her concentration at work. Due to
Rayborn's conduct, Grant also experienced anxiety and stress and
became fearful of Rayborn. She had trouble sleeping, became irritable, and experienced severe
headaches and nausea.
Meanwhile, a fellow co-worker asked Grant why she continued to
let Rayborn talk to her in this manner. Grant responded that she
had only a few months before receiving her "A" card and that if
she complained to E-Quality's president, his wife, who was the
union EEO liaison, would make it difficult for her to get the "A"
card. Grant told her co-worker that she was keeping a log of
Rayborn's sexual advances and comments because their immediate
supervisor, Darvie Williams, told Grant to do so when she
complained to him about Rayborn in May 2000. In addition, other
co-workers witnessed Rayborn's sexual statements and advances
On or about October 26, 2000, Grant complained to her union
steward, Mark Flynn, that Rayborn was sexually harassing her.
Grant also tried to complain to the union EEO liaison, but the
liaison never returned Grant's telephone calls. Nonetheless,
Flynn advised the president and CEO of E-Quality, Reginald
Harston, of Grant's sexual harassment complaint. Flynn asked both
Harston and Grant to wait until he determined the proper
procedure for handling the sexual harassment complaint before
they took any further steps. Despite Flynn's directions, Harston
began interrogating E-Quality employees regarding Grant's
harassment complaint. Harston also requested that Grant prepare a
written statement and then interrogated Grant without her union
steward present. Before Flynn got back to Grant and Harston about
the proper procedures and less than a week after Harston was
made aware of Grant's sexual harassment complaint Harston
terminated Grant's employment with E-Quality.
II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Summary judgment is proper when the "pleadings, deposition,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with
the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue of any material fact." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The party opposing the
summary judgment motion may not rest upon the mere allegations or
denials of the adverse party's pleading; rather, it must respond
with "specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). Usually, this court must evaluate the
evidence supporting the summary judgment motion in a light most
favorable to the non-moving party. See Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). However, when a party
fails to respond to a motion for summary judgment, as in this
case, its failure constitutes the admission that there are no
genuine issues of material fact warranting a trial. See Flynn v.
Sandahl, 58 F.3d 283, 288 (7th Cir. 1995). A party's failure to
respond to a motion for summary judgment, however, does not
constitute a waiver of the legal issues. See id. With these
standards in mind, the court turns to Grant's Motion for Summary
Judgment to determine whether she is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. See Johnson v. Gudmundsson, 35 F.3d 1104, 1112
(7th Cir. 1994).
A. Sexual Harassment Hostile Work Environment (Count I)
In evaluating whether a work environment is hostile based on
sexual harassment, a plaintiff must establish that: (1) she was
subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment; (2) the harassment was
based on her sex; (3) the sexual harassment unreasonably
interfered with her work performance by creating an intimidating,
hostile, or offensive work environment that affected the
psychological well-being of the plaintiff; and (4) there is a
basis for employer liability. See McPherson v. City of
Waukegan, 379 F.3d 430, 437-38 (7th Cir. 2004).
Grant has set forth sufficient evidence establishing the first,
second, and fourth elements of a hostile work environment claim.
Specifically, during Grant's employment with E-Quality, the General Foreman, Johnny Rayborn, harassed her with sexually
suggestive comments, offensive remarks, and unwanted touching.
Further, he made sexual advances toward Grant almost daily. Grant
made Rayborn aware that she was not interested in his advances
and did not appreciate his sexually offensive remarks and
comments were not welcome. Grant repeatedly asked Rayborn to
stop. Rayborn's remarks were sexual in nature and based on
Grant's gender. Finally, under the fourth element, E-Quality is
strictly liable for Rayborn's conduct because he was a
supervisory employee. See McPherson, 379 F.3d at 438.*fn3
Thus, the court is left with the question of whether Grant has
established that a hostile work environment existed. A plaintiff
can establish that a hostile work environment existed if the
conduct she was subjected to was so severe or pervasive that it
altered her employment conditions and created an abusive working
environment. See id. (citations and quotations omitted). To
qualify as hostile, the work environment must be objectively and
subjectively offensive, that is, it must be a work environment
that a reasonable person ...