Stamey v. Forest River, Inc., No. 21-1539 (7th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Stamey began working at Forest River in 2007 at age 51. He accumulated a strong work record, receiving several raises and avoiding any discipline. Stamey claims that his coworkers began harassing him in 2017 when he was 61. The alleged harassment continued for roughly 10 months and included verbal harassment, which Stamey described as escalating to the point where he “caught old age insults practically every morning on [his] way into the building, when [he] left for the day, during breaks, and whenever [he] walked into other parts of the plant.” The harassment also included interference with Stamey’s work. His coworkers repeatedly defaced his workstation, writing profanity on his tool cabinet, in the bathroom, and around the plant, and zip-tying his tools together. He resigned in 2018 at age 62 and sued, alleging that the company constructively discharged him in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by refusing to address a relentless and ruthless campaign of age‐based harassment by his coworkers.
The district court granted River Forest summary judgment. The Seventh Circuit reversed. While the case is close, viewing the facts and drawing all reasonable inferences in Stamey’s favor, a jury could return a verdict in Stamey’s favor. If Forest River shows that Stamey’s account lacks credibility, the company may prevail.