United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
ELIZABETH ERNY FOOTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the
Defendant, CW&W Contractors, Inc.
(“CW&W”). [Record Document 20]. Plaintiff,
Blanca Charpentier McGee (“McGee”) opposes the
motion. [Record Document 28]. For the reasons assigned
herein, Defendant's motion is hereby
began her employment with CW&W on April 11, 2012, in the
position of travel coordinator. [Record Document 3 ¶ 7].
McGee arranged the travel and hotel accommodations for
CW&W employees working out-of-town construction projects.
[Record Document 20-2 ¶ 1; Warren Dep. at 14-24]. McGee
was also responsible for creating a daily report that
summarized information valuable to managing the day-to-day
operations of the business. [Warren Dep. at 14-24].
employed with CW&W, McGee alleges that she was sexually
harassed at an off-campus cookout during the 2013 Labor Day
holiday. [Record Document 3 ¶ 22]. CW&W General
Manager, Ernie Simpson (“Simpson”), hosted the
cookout at his home in DeBerry, Texas. Id. Also in
attendance were CW&W employees Angela Finley
(“Finley”) and James Traxler
(“Traxler”). [McGee Dep. at 37-41]. McGee alleges
that during the cookout she drank several shots of alcohol
offered to her by Simpson because she did not believe she had
the option to decline. [Record Document 3 ¶ 22]. She
alleges that one of the drinks may have been drugged because
shortly after taking a shot of alcohol she lost control of
her body and could not move her arms or legs. Id.
Thereafter, McGee alleges that Traxler picked up her legs and
put them in his lap, while her upper body was resting against
Simpson. Id. McGee alleges that Simpson then began
speaking to her in a sexual manner and touched her breasts.
Id. Shortly thereafter, McGee alleges that Simpson
and Traxler decided to go back inside the house, and they had
to assist her inside because she could not move. [McGee Dep.
at 49]. McGee then went to her assigned bedroom and lay down
on the bed. Id. Traxler slept beside her, but did
not touch her. Id. at 49-51. The next morning McGee
ate breakfast with Simpson before leaving his house because
he allegedly required her to do so. Id. at 50. McGee
also alleges that Simpson threatened her not to say anything
at the office. [Record Document 3 ¶ 22].
McGee arrived at the office the following Monday she was
approached by co-plaintiff, Scarlett Sobolak
(“Sobolak”), CW&W's Human Resources
Manager, who inquired into her well being after noticing that
she was upset. [McGee Dep. at 60]. McGee then informed
Sobolak of what allegedly happened over the weekend. [Record
Document 3 ¶ 22]. During her conversation with Sobolak,
McGee asked Sobolak not to tell anyone about what had
transpired because she was afraid of negative consequences
from Simpson. [McGee Dep. at 60-61]. However, McGee states
that despite her request she felt that her conversation with
Sobolak was her cry for help, and she thought Sobolak would
fix the situation. Id. at 61. McGee did not tell her
direct supervisor, Jennifer Corley Lewis
(“Lewis”), because she feared repercussions from
Simpson. Id. She did not tell Glen Warren
(“Warren”), owner of CW&W, because she did
not want to displease him and she was concerned that she
would lose her job because she feared Warren would believe
Simpson's version of the story. Id. at 61-63.
December 10, 2013, several of CW&W's female employees
spoke privately amongst themselves and determined that
Simpson had allegedly behaved inappropriately with McGee,
Sobolak, Lewis, and Finley. [Record Document 3 ¶ 24].
Thereafter, Lewis shared this information with Warren and a
meeting was called to discuss the allegations. Id.
at ¶ 25. In attendance were Warren, Lewis, Finley,
McGee, Sobolak, and Brian Murry, CW&W's Contract
Service Manager. Id. During the meeting, Warren
asked each of the women to explain what had been going on.
[McGee Dep. at 73]. Finley stated that she received text
messages and phone calls from Simpson. [Lewis Dep. at 79;
Record Document 28-5, Finley Aff. ¶ 6]. Lewis also
received text messages from Simpson asking her to spend time
with him outside of the office. [Lewis Dep. at 80]. Sobolak
described her interactions with Simpson as an inappropriate
“emotional affair” and she indicated that she was
leaving CW&W to work on her marriage and keep her family
in tact. Id. at 81.
told Warren about Simpson allegedly touching her breasts at
his house while she was intoxicated and unable to move or
resist. [McGee Dep. at 73-74]. McGee also told Warren that
Simpson threatened her not to tell anyone about the incident.
Id. McGee described the meeting as extremely
uncomfortable because she told her story in front of so many
people and she felt ashamed. Id. at 74. McGee also
said that while she was making her statement she could sense
that Warren was angry with Simpson, so she kept her story
short and to the point. Id. at 74-75.
January 2, 2014, Simpson's employment with CW&W was
terminated. [Record Document 3 ¶ 34]. McGee alleges that
after Simpson's termination the office atmosphere became
very tense and she began experiencing retaliation from other
employees, such that the working conditions became so
intolerable that she could no longer continue to work for
CW&W. Id. at ¶ 35. Specifically, McGee made
the following statements in her deposition regarding the
“I resigned my employment because after Mr. Ernie
Simpson was terminated, the environment at work was awful. It
was - everyone hated and blamed Scarlett [Sobolak] for what
happened, which I understood a part of that.” [McGee
Dep. at 88-89].
“Comments would fly on a daily basis about Scarlett,
about what happened.” Id. at 91.
“And the air in that office - well, you couldn't
breathe. Because I felt animosity for having the audacity to
still be Scarlett's friend. And the - it changed. From
then on it changed.” Id.
“I felt animosity on several levels. One, I was still
Scarlett's friend, even though I tried not to even
discuss that I was still her friend, but I felt - I felt
blamed that somehow they viewed that I carried some blame for
what happened.” Id. at 92.
“I felt uncomfortable. I felt as an outsider. I did not
- things changed. No. one really wanted to have anything to
do with me. I felt ostracized. And I tried. But no one can