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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Caterpillar

June 18, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer


On February 2, 2002, Karon Lambert*fn1 filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC" or "Plaintiff") against her employer, Caterpillar Inc. ("Caterpillar" or "Defendant"). This action arises out of the EEOC's subsequent investigation into sexual harassment allegedly occurring at Caterpillar's Aurora, Illinois, facility, where Lambert worked. In addition to Lambert's claims for sexual harassment and retaliation, the EEOC brought sexual harassment claims against Caterpillar on behalfoffive other current employees and one former employee. After the court granted Defendant's motion as to some of those claims, the case proceeded to trial on sexual harassment claims brought on behalf of Sandy Irvin and Virginia Early, and on Lambert's claims for sexual harassment and retaliatory discharge. The court conducted a five-day bench trial and states here its findings of fact and conclusions of law.


Defendant's Aurora Facility and Workforce

All of the events giving rise to this action took place at Caterpillar's facility in Aurora, Illinois, which is devoted primarily to manufacturing and assembling large earth-moving equipment. See EEOC v. Caterpillar, Inc., 503 F. Supp. 2d 995, 999 (N.D. Ill. 2007) (Pallmeyer, J.) The Aurora facility is composed of four main buildings, occupies almost 400 acres, and operates 24 hours a day, five days a week, with three shifts per day. In general, the first shift runs from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; the second shift runs from 3:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.; and the third shift runs from 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. SF ¶ 10. The assembly lines normally run on the first and second shift only. Id. All other departments operate on all three shifts to supply and support the assembly operations. Id.

Approximately one-third of the employees at the Aurora facility are salaried and work in clerical, technical, professional, or managerial positions. Id. ¶ 9.The remaining employees are hourly workers who are engaged in various aspects of the manufacturing process. Caterpillar, 503 F. Supp. 2d at 999. These hourly employees are represented by the United Auto Workers, Local 145 (the "union") and, under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, are classified either as full-time or "supplemental" employees. Id. Full-time workers are regular, non-temporary employees covered by the agreement, including a progressive discipline policy and assurances that they can only be fired for just cause. Id. Supplemental employees are hired to work on a temporary, though sometimes indefinite, basis. Id. Unlike full-time employees, supplemental employees can be fired at any time for any reason, have limited grievance rights under the labor agreement, and are not protected by provisions of the labor agreement that require Caterpillar to engage in progressive discipline. Id.

Defendant's Sexual Harassment Policies and Training

Because it is relevant to Caterpillar's affirmative defense, and to Plaintiff's claims for punitive damages, the parties have devoted considerable attention to Caterpillar's practices and policies concerning workplace harassment. Beginning no later than 1996, Caterpillar maintained and published a policy that prohibited sexual harassment. (SF ¶ 43.) The details of the 1996 policy do not appear in the parties' stipulations; the policy in place between 1998 and 2000, however, provided that an employee who believes that he or she has been sexually harassed should report the conduct to one of four people: (1) his or her supervisor, (2) his or her manager, (3) the labor relations and personnel service manager, or (4) the corporate EEO coordinator. (Id. ¶ 44.) Since 2000, Caterpillar has maintained and published a "prohibited harassment" policy that expanded upon its earlier policy to prohibit all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment. (Id. ¶ 45.) Similarly to the earlier policies, the policy issued in 2004 instructs workers who believe they have been harassed to notify either the area supervisor, the department manager, the human resources manager, or the corporate EEO manager. (Id. ¶ 46.) In addition to those individuals, the 2005 and 2006 policies provide that employees may report harassment to local human resources staff, as well. (Id. ¶ 48.) The policies also explain that an employee who believes he or she has been harassed may file a charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights; the 2005 and 2006 policies note employees' right to file a charge with the EEOC, as well. (Id. ¶ 49.) And Caterpillar's policies prohibit retaliation against an employee who reports or participates in an investigation of sexual harassment. (Id. ¶ 50.)

Since at least 1996, Caterpillar had established procedures for processing employee complaints regarding equal employment matters. (Id. ¶ 51.) Also since 1996, Caterpillar has maintained an equal employment opportunity ("EEO") policy announcing that the Aurora facility is to be a harassment-free work environment. (Id. ¶ 52.) Printed copies of the harassment policies, as well as government-required anti-discrimination posters, have been posted in at least one spot of high visibility in every major building at the Aurora facility since 1996; copies have also been posted in locked glass display cases at major facility entrances, at least one of which all employees pass when they walk into work. (Id. ¶¶ 54-56.)

In addition to the posters, Caterpillar communicated with its employees by way of printed publications. In 1996, Caterpillar published a booklet for employees called What You Should Know About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, which sets forth Caterpillar's sexual harassment policy and provides guidance to employees on how to recognize and handle sexual harassment and the consequences of such harassment. (Id. ¶ 57.) This booklet, which was distributed to each new employee during his or her orientation from 1996 to 2000, provides that when an employee discloses information concerning an incident of harassment, supervisors are to immediately report the incident to their facility EEO coordinator or local human resources manager. (Id. ¶¶ 57-58, 64.) Also in 1996, Caterpillar published another booklet for employees, Working at Caterpillar, which recites Caterpillar's EEO policy and warns employees that failure to comply with the company's policies and procedures, including the sexual harassment policy, may lead to disciplinary action. (Id. ¶ 59.) A revised booklet, What You Should Know About Caterpillar's Prohibited Harassment Policy, was distributed to employees in 2001; this booklet, like the earlier versions, discusses Caterpillar's policies against sexual harassment and retaliation in depth. (Id. ¶¶ 60-61.) Since 2001, this booklet has been distributed to each new employee during orientation. (Id. ¶ 64.) Caterpillar also distributes its Code of Worldwide Business Conduct, which affirms that the company complies with laws prohibiting discrimination, that Caterpillar promotes an environment free of intimidation and harassment, and that its employees have a responsibility to report harassment and will not be subject to retaliation for doing so. (Id. ¶62.)

Caterpillar has conducted a number of training sessions for its employees that included training on sexual harassment. Among the training sessions that Caterpillar has conducted at its Aurora facility are the following:

* Since 1996, all new employees at the Aurora facility attend an orientation program on their first day on the job. (Id. ¶ 63.) Caterpillar's harassment policies are reviewed with the attendees and the new employees are informed that these policies are posted throughout the facility. (Id. ¶ 66.)

* Since 1996, employees have been required to attend another week-long training program three months into their employment. A portion of that training program is devoted to harassment training. (Id. ¶ 67.)

* Since 1996, the facility has conducted an orientation for newly-hired or promoted supervisors, at which Caterpillar reviews its harassment policies and explains to the supervisors their role with respect to complaints of harassment. (Id. ¶¶ 68-70.)

* In March 1996, all salaried and management employees at the Aurora facility were required to attend a diversity training called "Synergy From Others," which included a discussion on behaviors that can give rise to complaints of sexual harassment. (Id. ¶ 71.) This training was repeated for hourly employees in March of 1997. (Id. ¶ 74.)

* In November 1996, all of the supervisory and management employees at the Aurora facility were required to attend a two-hour sexual harassment training course titled "Maintaining A Harassment-Free Work Environment" and were provided with the What You Should Know About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace booklet. (Id. ¶ 72.)

* In January 1998, all salaried and management employees at the Aurora facility were required to attend an eight-hour diversity training, which included a segment on sexual harassment. (Id. ¶ 75.)

* Bill Miller, the labor relations representative, conducted sexual harassment training for managers in certain buildings at the Aurora facility in October 1999. (Id. ¶ 76.)

* In early 2000, hourly employees at the Aurora facility were required to attend a training course called "Diversity Diner," concerning the need to be sensitive to diversity, including gender differences, in the workplace. (Id. ¶ 77.)

* In March 2000, supervisors at the Aurora facility were required to attend a training course titled "What the Supervisor Needs to Know About Sexual Harassment," which covered Caterpillar's policies and procedures, what behaviors constitute sexual harassment, and how supervisors should respond to complaints of harassment. (Id. ¶ 77.)

* In 2001, management employees at the Aurora facility took part in a training program called "Valuing People" which reviewed diversity issues, including gender differences, in the workplace. (Id. ¶ 79.)

* In 2001, Caterpillar conducted an all-employee meeting at the Aurora facility, at which attendees viewed a video on workplace harassment and discussed Caterpillar's policy prohibiting harassment. (Id. ¶ 80.)

* In 2003-2004, Caterpillar conducted mandatory, facility-wide training on its prohibited harassment policy and policy of non-retaliation. (Id. ¶ 81.) During the course, Caterpillar reissued its What You Should Know About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace booklet. (Id.)

I. Karon Lambert's Claims

A. Background

Karon Lambert worked as an industrial hygiene and safety supervisor in Building B of Caterpillar's Aurora facility from August 31, 2001 to January 3, 2002, when Caterpillar terminated her employment. (SF ¶¶ 11-12, 16.) Among her duties were ensuring that the plant complied with Occupational Safety and Health Act ("OSHA") standards, ensuring that the plant adhered to its own safety guidelines, and training managers on plant safety requirements. (Tr. 206:5-16.) Lambert alleges that her direct supervisor, Robert Garcia, engaged in repeated acts of sexual harassment throughout her four-month employment and then recommended she be terminated when she rejected his advances. Garcia was employed as Building B's safety and security manager at the time of the alleged harassment until he retired from Caterpillar in 2003.

B. Evidence of Sexual Harassment

Lambert testified to a pattern of harassment that began, she asserts, on her the very first day of her employment when, Garcia "brush[ed] up" against her breast with his arm and the back of his hand several times while giving her a tour of the facility. (Tr. 35:15-23.) Lambert testified that the second time Garcia did this, he told her that he "liked the way [her breasts] responded to his touch." (Tr. 36:6-7.) Lambert also stated that during this plant tour, Garcia shared what she considered sexually inappropriate information about other employees, such as which co-workers were rumored to be "sleeping" together. According to Lambert, after introducing her to another male employee, Garcia warned Lambert that he is "a lady's man" who "would sleep with [Lambert] if he had the chance." (Tr. 37:10-15.)

Lambert claims that during her first week at Caterpillar, Garcia said he was interested in dating her, and she responded by telling him that their relationship would only ever be strictly professional. (Tr. 49:1-9.) According to Lambert, Garcia told her that he would be jealous if she dated anyone else, a statement he allegedly made several times in the ensuing weeks. (Tr. 49:10-15, 49:16-50:1.) Lambert testified that shortly after she refused to date Garcia, he told her that he would like to "bend her over the smoking rail," the factory's designated smoking area, and that he wanted to "fuck" her. (Tr. 50:2-10.) Also during her first week at Caterpillar, Garcia allegedly told Lambert that Caterpillar did not permit employees to wear rings in the plant, due to the risk of their getting caught in the machinery; he added, "You are going to like that because no one is going to have to know that you are married." (Tr. 53:14-17.) Around this time, Garcia purportedly told Lambert that he "liked the way that [her breasts] would sometimes stick out when [she] would wear a certain sweater," identifying the sweater he liked. (Tr. 45:19-25.) After introducing Lambert to other women at the plant "that were attracted to him," Garcia also allegedly described their breasts to Lambert and commented on the size of Lambert's breasts. (Tr. 46:6-2.)

Lambert claims Garcia's offensive behavior continued throughout employment at Caterpillar. During the first two to three weeks at the plant, Lambert testified that Garcia would touch her breasts "daily"; she claims he continued to do so, albeit less frequently, thereafter. (Tr. 37:15-38:6.) According to Lambert, Garcia did this in ways that would appear inadvertent or unintentional. (Tr. 39:9-40:1.) For example, Garcia's arm would graze her breast when he pointed things out in the plant, or, when he bent over to get a cigarette from where he stored them in his sock, his shoulder would bump Lambert's breast. (Tr. 40:20-22.) Sometimes, Lambert testified, he blew smoke in the direction of her chest. (Tr. 39: 11-16.) When he and Lambert were at the "smoking rail," Lambert stated that Garcia would lean on the railing in such a way that when he moved or turned to the side he would brush against her breast. (Tr. 40:14-17.)

Lambert testified that "almost every time he touched [her breasts]," Garcia would comment about how he "liked large breasts," that he "liked the way that they responded," and that he "would be jealous if they responded to anyone else." (Tr. 43:5-10.) Lambert stated he would sometimes ask after touching her, "Well, is it as good for you as it was for me?" (Tr. 45:3-6.) Lambert recalled an incident when, after seeing another female employee with a lollipop in her mouth, Garcia told Lambert that he would like to suck her breast. (Tr. 54:22-55:1.) On another occasion, she claims, Garcia was smoking a cigarette and told Lambert that he "would much rather suck [her] breast than a cigarette" and that he "wanted to fuck [her] breasts." (Tr. 43:25-44:2, 44:6.) Lambert claims she responded by telling Garcia to leave her alone and that "it would never happen." (Tr. 44:11-12.)

Lambert testified that Garcia would frequently insist on opening the door for her, leaving just enough room for her to pass, and then brushing her breast with his hand as she walked through the doorway. (Tr. 39:11-40:2.) Once, she said, Garcia "grabbed [her] butt" when he opened the door for her. (Tr. 37:21-23.) As members of the plant's safety audit committee ("SAC"), Garcia and Lambert would also periodically tour the facility as part of a "safety audit." (Tr. 52:24-3.) On these tours, Lambert testified that Garcia told her "a couple of times" that she had a "sexy" walk and that he "got turned on by it." (Tr. 53:4-9.)

When Lambert first began work, she testified, Garcia and Jenny Logel, another plant employee, instructed her to report each morning to Garcia's office, which was at the opposite end of the facility from her own. (Tr. 34:21-35:3.) In mid-September, however, she stopped reporting to Garcia's office after an incident following a birthday celebration at the plant for Garcia. (Tr. 41:9-14.) According to Lambert, some plant employees brought a cake to Garcia's office and sang "Happy Birthday" to Garcia, and Garcia's secretary gave him a hug. (Tr. 41:19.) After the song and cake, Garcia waited for the other employees to leave and then closed the door after them, leaving himself along with Lambert. Lambert testified that he told her "he now wanted the hug that he really wanted," embraced her tightly and, as Lambert recounted, began "nuzzling in my neck," "rubbing down my butt," and "pulling me into his groin." (Tr. 41:23-25.) Lambert testified that Garcia "told me if I said anything to anyone, that he was here long before me, he would be here long after me, and that there was a zero tolerance. And I would be the one to lose my job." (Tr. 42:7-10.) Lambert claims she "was trying to grab at the door" throughout this encounter and that Garcia finally released her because she "was pulling at the doorknob." (Tr. 42:11-16.)

To Lambert's knowledge, no one overheard any of Garcia's inappropriate comments or witnessed any of his behavior toward her, with the exception of one occasion when Garcia grabbed her backside as Lambert walked through a doorway. At trial, Dean Morrissette, the tool room supervisor during Lambert's employment, testified that he once saw Garcia open the door for Lambert and "pat[] her on the rear end as she entered the door ahead of him." (Tr. 174:7-11.) Morrissette acknowledged, however, that he was standing somewhere between 30 and 100 feet away at the time and could not say for certain that Garcia actually touched Lambert, though it "appeared that he did." (Tr. 180:11-25.) Morrissette explained that he did not report the incident to his own supervisor because he could not tell whether Garcia's behavior was "unwanted or whether it was acceptable to her." (Tr. 174:25-175:9, 179:9-12.) Morrissette was fired from Caterpillar in 2005 for sexual harassment. (Tr. 175:23-25.)

Lambert testified in some detail about Garcia's inappropriate behavior toward certain other women in the Caterpillar plant. Notably, that testimony was contradicted by the women themselves. First, Lambert testified that Garcia frequently referred to women on the facility's safety committee as his "harem." (Tr. 52:12-21.) Gene Hevelka, Lambert's husband, also claimed Jenny Logel told him that Garcia referred to certain women on the committee as his "harem." (Tr. 463:22-464:8.) Jenny Logel, Vicki Pittenger, and Jessica Hardy, the members of this so-called "harem," however, all denied ever hearing Garcia refer to them as such. (Tr. 435:12-13, 452:13-14.) Hardy testified that she, not Garcia, had once referred herself, Pittenger, and Logel as "Bob's harem" in Garcia's presence, and Garcia afterward reprimanded her for using inappropriate language. (Tr. 452:15-453:4.)

Lambert also claimed she saw Garcia inappropriately touch other women at the Caterpillar plant. Specifically, Lambert recalled seeing Garcia rub a Peppermint Pattie across Logel's breasts and afterwards saying, "It's going to taste better now." (Tr. 53:18-54:5.) In her own earlier statement to the EEOC, however, Lambert stated that she originally heard this story from Logel herself. (Lambert Post-Termination Notes, Def. Ex. 12.) Gene Hevelka also testified that Logel told him on at least two occasions that Garcia frequently rubbed candy across her chest. (Tr. 464:9-465:6.) Garcia and Logel both denied this or any similar event ever took place. (Tr. 198, 406-407.)

Sometime in late August or early September, Lambert claims she approached Pittenger, Logel, and Hardy about Garcia's behavior. According to Lambert, she asked them whether he "had ever rubbed and brushed up or grabbed their breasts," and Pittenger responded, "Yes, that that was Bob," and, "He just gets his daily feels." (Tr. 55:22-56:2.) Hardy reportedly stated that he brushed up against her daily, and Logel added that "[i]f anybody were to complaint about it, they lost their job." (Tr. 56:3:-9.) Lambert testified that this conversation made her feel "hopeless" and "threatened" because "it seem[ed] like I was the only one that was complaining and didn't like it." (Tr. 56:10-20.) At trial, Pittenger, Logel, and Hardy all denied telling Lambert that Garcia had touched them or anyone else inappropriately, and each independently testified that they had never experienced any kind of inappropriate behavior from Garcia. (Tr. 407-08, 432-33, 434-35, 450-54.) All three women also denied telling Lambert that retaliation was an expected consequence of reporting harassment by Garcia. (Tr. 408, 436, 450.) Pittenger specifically denied making the comment that Garcia "gets his daily feels." (Tr. 433:20-21.)

During the week of October 15, 2001, Garcia, Hardy, Pittenger, and Lambert attended an overnight safety conference at a hotel in Peoria, Illinois. (Tr. 56:21-57:2, 116:4.) At dinner in the hotel restaurant, Lambert testified, Garcia directed her to the inside of the booth and sat down beside her, across from Hardy and Pittenger. (Tr. 58:11-19.) Throughout dinner, Lambert claims, Garcia rubbed his hand up and down her thigh and buttocks underneath the table. (Tr. 58:24-25, 59:18-29.) At one point, according to Lambert, Garcia whispered to Lambert that he liked the way she held her fork and told her he wanted to "fork" her. (Tr. 59:1-6.) Lambert's initial written account of that evening, in an e-mail to the EEOC dated April 30, 2003, told a milder story: "During dinner, seated in a booth," Lambert wrote, "Bob sat next to me and would often press against or lean into me, which made me feel uncomfortable." (Tr. 116:20-23, Def. Ex. 13.) Lambert also wrote, "Bob made comments that he liked the way that I ate and it was nice to see that I had good table manners."

Later that evening, according to Lambert, she told Hardy that she "didn't like the way Bob was acting." (Tr. 60:5-6.) In response, Hardy allegedly told Lambert that on another work-related trip Garcia had hugged her and tried to unzip her jumper. (Tr. 59:7-10.) According to Lambert, Hardy told her she did not report the incident to anybody at Caterpillar because she did not feel that she could. (Tr. 60:12-14.) At trial, Hardy denied that Garcia ever attempted to unzip her clothing. (Tr. 446:25-3.) Hardy recalls that during Lambert's first week at Caterpillar, Hardy told Lambert over dinner that her supervisor at a different facility had attempted to unzip her pantsuit after walking her back to her hotel room during a conference. (Tr. 446:19-24.) Hardy testified that she reported that incident (not involving Garcia) to another supervisor at Caterpillar, and when she came to work the following day, the supervisor who had engaged in offensive conduct had vacated his office, and she never worked with him again. (Tr. 446:8-15.)

According to Pittenger and Hardy'srecollections of the dinner in Peoria, far from voicing any discomfort, Lambert seemed "jovial" and was "laughing and joking around." (Tr. 431:10-11, 445:2-4.) Both women testified that Lambert said she "loved her job" and did not appear upset or complain about Garcia's behavior. (Tr. 444:22- 445:7, 432:1-7.) Pittenger testified that on a trip to the women's restroom, she heard Lambert tell a stranger that she was having a "great time" and that she liked her job. (Tr. 432:2-7.) Neither woman saw Garcia acting inappropriately toward Lambert that evening. (Tr. 444:19-21, 431:3-8.)

Hardy, an ergonomics coordinator who worked under Garcia's supervision during Lambert's employment, did complain on several occasions about inappropriate behavior at the Aurora facility. Once, Hardy testified, she and a prospective female intern were touring the plant and heard "wolf whistling" from the factory floor. (Tr. 447:10-17.) Hardy took the prospective intern to her office and immediately reported the incident to her supervisor, who advised her to speak to Bill Miller, the facility's labor relations manager. (Tr. 447:18-24.) Miller asked her for details about the incident and, according to Hardy, promised to address the entire group on the factory floor about the disciplinary consequences, including discharge, of that kind of behavior.*fn3 (Tr. 448:9-12, 378:7-11.) Hardy also testified that she complained to both Garcia and Miller about the presence of offensive photographs in the factory on two occasions. (Tr. 449:13-14.) In the first instance, Miller "immediately removed" the offending photograph when he could not identify its owner. (Tr. 449:13-14.) In the second, he deemed the pictures "not inappropriate" and allowed the employee to keep them. (Tr. 377:22-378:6.) Finally, Hardy complained to Garcia when another employee told her "a very offensive joke." Garcia spoke to the employee and instructed him to apologize to Hardy. (Tr. 449:15-24.)

Garcia himself strenuously denied every one of Lambert's allegations. He testified that he never intentionally touched Lambert's breasts or backside, never stated that he was physically attracted to or wished to date Lambert, never threatened Lambert or told her he was jealous, never commented on Lambert's appearance, clothing, or anatomy in a sexual way, never requested a hug from Lambert, never blew smoke in the direction of her chest, and never told Lambert that she would be pleased by the factory's "no-ring" policy. (Tr. 193-198.) Further, Garcia denied ever discussing the sex lives of other employees, engaging in inappropriate physical contact with female employees, or making comments to Lambert about other female employees in a sexual way. (Tr. 194:6-11.)

C. Lambert's Response to the Alleged Harassment

Lambert testified that Garcia's behavior during her time as a Caterpillar employee made her feel "violated," "demoralized," "threatened," "afraid," "humiliated," and "worthless." (Tr. 60:19-61:1.) In response to Garcia's conduct, she said, she began wearing minimizer bras and layering her clothing to draw attention away from her breasts. (Tr. 61:2-21.) Lambert testified that she took steps to avoid unwanted contact with Garcia. At first, she made general efforts to avoid physical contact when Garcia "would walk right up beside [her]." (Tr. 41:6-8.) She also told him that she didn't like it when he blew smoke at her breasts, to which Garcia allegedly replied that Lambert "better get used to it." (Tr. 48:11-15.) Following the incident on Garcia's birthday, when he allegedly groped and threatened Lambert, she testified that she stopped reporting to his office in the morning. (Tr. 41:9-14.)

Lambertadmitted, however, that she never complained to any supervisor or manager or to anyone in Caterpillar's human resources or labor relations departments regarding Garcia's behavior. (Tr. 96-98.) In December 2001, Lambert did speak to Pete Moore, a union representative, about filing a complaint against Garcia regarding their working relationship, but did not mention sexual harassment as the basis for the complaint. (Tr. 80:13-81:6, 98:12-99:7, 302:17-303:8.) In her testimony, Lambert attributed her reluctance to complain about the harassment to a combination of fear of losing her job and a lack of training in Caterpillar's sexual harassment policies. (Tr. 80-83.) Lambert claims that after she spoke with Moore, Garcia came to her office and threatened her, warning her not to speak to anyone about her job, her position, or "what was going on" because "no one would believe [her]" and that "he would be there long after [her]." (Tr. 82:5-15.) Lambert did not report this threat to anyone else at Caterpillar because, she testified, she believed she would lose her job. (Tr. 82:16-83:1.)

Lambert denies Caterpillar ever provided her with sexual harassment training or any handbooks on Caterpillar's sexual harassment policies. (Tr. 32:22-3, 33:4-18.) She claims she never attended a scheduled orientation session because Garcia insisted she attend safety meetings instead and assured her "he would give [Lambert] all the training [she] needed." (Tr. 38:18-29:3.) She did, however, recognize that Caterpillar had a sexual harassment policy and that human resources staff could have furnished her with a copy of it at her request. (Tr. 101:12-25.) Lambert admitted she never sought out a copy of the policy. (Tr. 102.) She also admitted she had received sexual harassment training from previous employers and therefore knew from past experience that Garcia's alleged behavior would be considered harassing and illegal. (Tr. 101:1-10.)

Alan Wolff, the employment supervisor charged with training new employees in the firm's sexual harassment policies at the time, testified that he recalled that Lambert did attend his orientation class on her first day at the Aurora facility, along with four or five other new hires. (Tr. 277:21-279:22, 281:4-9, 284:7-10.) Wolff could not recall the names of any of the other attendees and did not keep a written record of persons who attended or received orientation materials. (Tr. 282:5-22.) He also conceded that he had trained over 100 employees ...

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