She was only harassed at one of her many work locations, so …
This woman had many supervisors, and only one of them harassed her. Is that a hostile work environment?
Lisa Dahlke worked as a part-time banker for a bank with several locations in the Milwaukee area. Dahlke moved from location to location as was needed.
Starting in 2006, Dahlke claimed that Jason Golembiewski, her new manager at one of the branches she occasionally worked at, began harassing her and other female employees.
What did that look like? According to Dahlke, Golembiewski:
- twice removed Dahlke from the work schedule at his office at the last minute, once saying she was “not good enough to make my tea”
- called her at home 30 minutes before her shift began and yelled at her, humiliating her in front of co-workers who could hear him yelling
- referred to female employees as “b—–s” and “old ladies,” and called Dahlke “old hag,” “prude” and “dummy”
- intentionally ran the check-sorting machine longer than necessary in front of Dahlke and told her that it sounded like his vibrator
- told someone on the phone in a loud voice that he was a “pimp” and the female employees in the office were “prostitutes in his stable” who had to do what he said, and
- regularly commented on the appearance of female customers, noting if they were “hot” and questioning, “Why is she so fat?”
Didn’t matter that it was occasional
Dahlke claimed she complained to her direct supervisors about Golembiewski’s behavior, but nothing was done.
Dahlke was eventually fired. She sued, claiming, among other things, a hostile work environment.
The bank said Dahlke had no case — Dahlke only worked at the New Berlin branch occasionally, so she couldn’t claim that the harassment was severe or pervasive.
Nice try, said the court, noting that being consistently sexually harassed at one of her work sites was sufficient — especially when taken into account with other female employees’ complaints.
The court also criticized the bank for failing to investigate any of Dahlke’s or her fellow female colleagues’ complaints.