SkyWest Airlines Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Going To Trial
United States District Judge Anderson ruled that a series of sexually offensive comments made to three women employed by SkyWest Airlines, Inc., as alleged by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") in a lawsuit could constitute actionable sexual harassment. SkyWest filed a Motion for Summary Judgment which was rejected by the Court. In denying defendant SkyWest's motion for summary judgment, the court said that a reasonable jury "could find the comments to be 'uninvited sexual solicitations' and 'obscene language' rather than merely vulgar banter."
In its lawsuit EEOC v. SkyWest Airlines, Inc., N.D. Ill. No 07 C 4925, the EEOC alleges that SkyWest discriminated against three former employees by subjecting them to sexual harassment by a co-worker and then firing them in retaliation for complaining about the hostile work environment, all in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The court noted that between six and eight offensive remarks were made to each of the women and included the speaker's statements,
"that he wished he could put his mouth on her breasts" and "that he wanted to have sex with her and get between her thighs."The court concluded,
"We find that a reasonable fact finder could find that these comments to be severe enough to constitute 'uninvited sexual solicitations' and 'obscene language,' rather than merely vulgar banter."