Gardner v. CLC of Pascagoula, LLC, No. 17-60072 (5th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a nursing assistant, filed suit under Title VII against her employer after she was terminated in part for refusing to care for an aggressive patient in a nursing home. At issue on appeal were plaintiff's claims of hostile work environment and retaliation. The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the employer and held that the hostile work environment claim could proceed to trial where a jury could conclude that an objectively reasonable caregiver would not expect a patient to grope her daily, injure her so badly she could not work for three months, and have her complaints met with laughter and dismissal by the administration. Furthermore, the employer knew or should have known of the hostile work environment and should have taken reasonable measures to try to abate it. The court also held that the retaliation claim could proceed to trial where there was a triable issue on the "but for" causation element. Therefore, the court remanded for further proceedings.