Fuller v. Idaho Department of Corrections, No. 14-36110 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
After plaintiff was raped by a co-worker at the Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC), she filed suit against the IDOC and others. The Ninth Circuit vacated summary judgment in favor of defendants on plaintiff's Title VII hostile work environment claim. The panel held that, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff, a reasonable trier of fact could find that the IDOC's actions were sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment. The panel noted that if the jury finds that the IDOC supervisors created a hostile work environment, the IDOC would also be liable.
Court Description: Employment Discrimination. The panel vacated the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant on a Title VII hostile work environment claim brought by a plaintiff who was raped by an Idaho Department of Corrections co-worker. The panel held that the plaintiff proffered sufficient admissible evidence to avoid summary judgment. Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the panel held that she had raised triable issues of fact as to whether the IDOC’s actions following the rape were sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment. The panel held that if a jury found that the plaintiffs’ IDOC supervisors created a hostile work environment, then the IDOC would be vicariously liable. In a concurrently filed memorandum disposition, the panel affirmed the district court’s summary judgment to the IDOC on other claims. It remanded for a trial on the hostile work environment claim. Dissenting, Judge Ikuta wrote that the evidence in the record did not show discrimination because of the plaintiff’s sex, as is required to establish an employer’s liability under Title VII.