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Glemser v. Sugar Creek Realty, LLC

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

September 9, 2013

KRISTEN J. GLEMSER, Plaintiff,
v.
SUGAR CREEK REALTY, LLC, d/b/a PINE WOODS APARTMENTS, Defendants

Decided September 6, 2013

Page 867

For Kristen J Glemser, Plaintiff: John Edward Kerley, KERLEY & ASSOCIATES PC, Springfield, IL.

For Sugar Creek Realty LLC, administrator of Pine Wood Apartments, Defendant: Andrew J Martone, Lori Ann Schmidt, HESSE MARTONE PC, St Louis, MO.

OPINION

Page 868

Richard Mills, United States District Judge.

Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is Allowed.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Kristen J. Glemser (" the Plaintiff" or " Glemser" ) filed a Complaint against Defendant Sugar Creek Realty, LLC (" the Defendant" or " Sugar Creek" ), her former employer. The Complaint alleges claims for sexual harassment and constructive discharge under Title VII. The former claim is based on alleged severe and pervasive harassment on December 7, 2006, by the Plaintiff's supervisor. The Plaintiff further asserts that the alleged

Page 869

harassment led to Glemser's constructive discharge because of the intolerable working conditions which occurred that day. The Plaintiff alleges she substantially followed the Defendant's sexual harassment policy, while Sugar Creek did not after it learned of the incident.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

A. Events of December 7, 2006

The Plaintiff, who was formerly employed as marketing/leasing agent at Pine Woods Apartments, filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (" EEOC" ) alleging sexual harassment by the Defendant. The EEOC Charge and Complaint discuss what the Plaintiff alleges is a series of events occurring on a single day, December 7, 2006, which constituted sexual harassment. Glemser testified that her EEOC Charge included a complete account of her allegations.

The Plaintiff admitted in her deposition that the only person who she believes sexually harassed her was Theresa C. Lorton. Glemser testified that she did not tell Lorton to stop the purported harassment because she believed she could lose her job.

Some of the Sugar Creek staff planned a small birthday party for Angie McKenzie, who was the girlfriend of Springfield police officer Nayt Stewart. Stewart provides security for the apartment complex. The Plaintiff was not one of the planners of the event. Lorton admitted it was her idea to have the party at the office. The party for McKenzie was planned for the late afternoon of December 7, 2006.

The Defendant alleges that as a gag gift, one of the party goers bought several pairs of shorts described by the Defendant as " boy shorts" because McKenzie had been turned down for a job at Show-Me's restaurant. Glemser disputes the allegation and alleges that a party goer brought several pairs of underwear to the party, which would be worn under the shorts of an employee at Show-Me's restaurant.

As part of the joke, Lorton and some of the other women modeled the shorts. Glemser states she did not wear the underwear as part of the joke. She was forced to wear the outfit when Lorton began to remove Glemser's pants.

The Defendant contends that during her employment at Sugar Creek, the Plaintiff talked openly to people about her modeling career, the alias she used, a calendar that she had made, that she had been featured in a men's magazine and she brought copies of the magazine to the office to show people. The Plaintiff admitted that her modeling photographs show her in considerably less clothing than the shorts worn at the party. [1]

According to Glemser's testimony, the party in Sugar Creek's social center was underway as early as 10:00 a.m. on December 7, 2006. Some individuals were intoxicated. The Plaintiff states that she left the party to purchase vodka because her supervisor asked her. Glemser testified she thought that if she brought vodka back, Lorton and the rest of the people would leave the office and allow her to do her job. After she returned with vodka, the party goers ate breakfast. The Plaintiff testified that her supervisor, Lorton, was already inebriated.

Page 870

The Plaintiff further testified a woman identified as " Kim," who was a friend of Lorton's, brought three pairs of skimpy shorts, which Glemser described as underwear, to have a fashion show because it would be " a fun party" for the two women. The Plaintiff believed the women thought she wanted to wear the outfit, and Kim asked her to do so. However, the Plaintiff testified ...


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