Jones v. Department Of Corrections

429 F.3d 276 (D.C. Cir. 2005)


P began work as a correctional officer at D. Sergeant Darryl Ellison supervised P. P claims Ellison's statements and conduct gave rise to a hostile work environment and D against her after she submitted harassment complaints against Ellison. P alleged two specific incidents where Ellison wanted to kiss P. On one Ellison even assaulted her and grabbed her face. Ellison also commented about her breasts and panty line. Ellison allegedly approached P in the mess hall, commented about her breasts and panty line, and brushed himself up against her 'with his whole body.' P alleges Ellison made several other inappropriate comments including bragging about his sexual prowess, publicizing his desire to have sex with her, telling colleagues that she was gay, threatening to give her a poor evaluation or to begin disciplinary action against her, and calling her a 'red bitch.' P alleges Ellison and several other male employees at the Department had a bet as to which of them would be the first to have sex with P. P reported Ellison's behavior to a Sergeant Armstrong, but the harassment continued. P filed a written complaint, and the warden immediately issued cease-and-desist orders to both P and Ellison, instructing them to 'avoid unnecessary contact.' Department personnel then conducted an investigation, taking recorded statements from fourteen witnesses and issuing a thirty-one-page investigation report. Several witnesses had denied or contradicted P's allegations and concluded there was 'insufficient evidence to support a finding of Probable Cause.' P alleges the investigation was perfunctory and biased. P was transferred to the night shift 'almost immediately' after filing her internal harassment complaint. The 'shift change roster' was completed and approved seventeen days before P's harassment complaint. After P was transferred back to the day shift, D changed her duty location and days off over the course of the subsequent six weeks. Then, on October 15, 1998, the Department assigned Jones to the 'tower' and barred her from entering the main prison institution. Colleagues told P she was being 'punished.' P brought this action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.; the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, D.C. CODE § 2-1401 et seq. (2001); and the common law. Ds moved for summary judgment on all causes of action. D moved to amend her complaint. The trial court found D had satisfied the requirements of the Faragher-Ellerth defense and P had failed to make a sufficient showing to defeat summary judgment on her retaliation claim. P appealed.