Minarsky v. Susquehanna County, No. 17-2646 (3d Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Minarski, the part-time secretary to Yadlosky, Director of Susquehanna County’s Department of Veterans Affairs, claims that Yadlosky made unwanted sexual advances toward her for years. The two worked separately from other employees. Minarski never reported this conduct because her young daughter had cancer and she depended on the income. Minarski later learned that on two prior occasions, the Chief County Clerk became aware of Yadlosky’s inappropriate behavior toward other women and reprimanded him. A County Commissioner was aware of one incident. After both incidents, there was no further action nor was any notation placed in Yadlosky’s personnel file. Minarsky also learned that other women had similar encounters with Yadlosky. The County terminated Yadlosky when the persistent nature of his behavior toward Minarsky was revealed. Minarsky sought to hold Yadlosky liable for sexual harassment, and her former employer, Susquehanna County, vicariously liable. The County raised the Faragher-Ellerth affirmative defense. In granting the County summary judgment, the district court held that the elements of this defense had been proven as a matter of law. The Third Circuit vacated, holding that, in this case, the availability of the defense regarding both elements--whether the County took reasonable care to detect and eliminate the harassment and whether Minarsky acted reasonably in not availing herself of the County’s anti-harassment safeguards--should be decided by a jury.