September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36

LAW REVIEW
those acts were:
Sufficiently related to those incidents
occurring within the statutory
period as to form one continuous
hostile work environment and a reasonable
person in the same factual
circumstances with the same training
and experience as the aggrieved
employee would believe that the conduct
complained of was unlawful.
In this particular instance, the
court found Lynch had committed
acts both inside and outside the statutory
300-day period that purportedly
contributed to a hostile work
environment, including: threatening
Plaintiff's job; no longer extending
his open-door policy to Plaintiff;
questioning
Plaintiff's
loyalty
in
front of her peers; assigning Odom
to supervise Plaintiff and transferring
Plaintiff's longtime assistant.
Cumulative Effects
The specific issue before the federal
district court was, therefore, " whether
the cumulative effect of Defendant's
pre- and post-March 31, 2016 actions
created a hostile work environment. "
According to the court, there was a
" relatively low bar " to satisfy the legal
standard as to " what might dissuade
a reasonable employee from
making a charge of discrimination, "
including the following circumstances
in this particular case:
Transferring a long-time assistant
without explanation, placing
an employee under the supervision
of a peer, placing an employee on
paid administrative leave for a few
days, or suggesting that an employee
obtain
other employment
because things are not working out.
As noted by the court: " Even
something as seemingly trivial as a
supervisor's failure to invite an employee
to lunch could 'deter a reasonable
employee from complaining
about discrimination' in certain
circumstances. "
As noted by the court, Plaintiff
had filed her gender discrimination
complaint in June 2013. Shortly
thereafter, the court found " Lynch
informed Plaintiff that she might not
last in the department until she was
eligible to retire. " Further, the court
acknowledged that Lynch had:
Questioned Plaintiff's loyalty
for accusing him of discrimination;
excluded Plaintiff (and only
her) from his open-door policy;
and stopped meeting with Plaintiff
alone at their bi-weekly meetings.
Under such circumstances, the
federal district court
found: " A
reasonable employee might think
twice about pursuing a discrimination
complaint if her supervisor,
who also happens to be the target
of the complaint, then informs the
employee that she might not remain
with the department. "
With regard to the alleged different
treatment of Plaintiff in Lynch's
open-door policy, the court further
found " a reasonable worker in Plaintiff's
position
might construe this
treatment as an attempt to isolate her
in the workplace, which also could
constitute an adverse action. "
In addition, the court found
" Lynch's decision to meet with Plaintiff
only with somebody else present
could be reasonably interpreted as an
indictment of her honesty. " As characterized
by the court, " such a 'witness'
arguably would be necessary
only if Plaintiff could not be trusted
to accurately recount the proceedings
of her meetings with Lynch. "
The court further noted, " a few
months later, Lynch gave Plaintiff
the lowest performance evaluation
scores she had ever received in more
36 Parks & Recreation | SEP T EMBER 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
than three decades. " In the opinion
of the court: " Such an unexpected
evaluation might make a reasonable
worker wonder whether her discrimination
complaint had something to
do with the scores. " According to
the court: " This is especially true because
Lynch's subsequent decision
to give Plaintiff higher scores for the
same evaluation could be seen as
calling into question the legitimacy
of the original scores. "
Accordingly, the court concluded
that the cumulative effect of " Lynch's
actions in April 2016 and January
2017 also could be seen as contributing
to an environment that might
dissuade a reasonable worker from
pursuing a discrimination claim. " In
reaching this conclusion, the court
further recognized that an " adverse
employment action " was indicated
by Plaintiff's having to " report to
Odom, a peer who held a functionally
similar position within the department
as Plaintiff. " According to the
court, " this act alone could dissuade
a reasonable worker from pursuing a
discrimination claim. " In addition,
the court found the January 2017
transfer of Plaintiff's assistant also
suggested " an adverse employment
action intended to isolate Plaintiff in
the workplace. "
Based upon these facts, the federal
district court held: " a reasonable
jury could conclude that the cumulative
effect of all these actions
subjected Plaintiff to a workplace
environment that might dissuade a
reasonable worker from pursuing a
charge of discrimination. "
Causation
The federal district
causation. "
In
court then
proceeded to consider " the fourth
and final McDonnell Douglas factor,
determining

September 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September 2022 - Parks & Recreation

September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10a
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10b
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 27
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 32
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 33
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 37
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 38
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 39
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 41
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 42
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 44
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 47
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 49
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 52
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 54
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 57
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 58
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 59
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 60
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 61
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 62
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 63
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 64
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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