Question: The Pennsylvania State Police PSP hired Nancy Drew Suders as
The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) hired Nancy Drew Suders as a police communications operator for the McConnellsburg barracks. Suders’s supervisors were Sergeant Eric D. Easton, station commander at the McConnellsburg barracks; Patrol Corporal William D. Baker; and Corporal Eric B. Prendergast. These three supervisors subjected Suders to a continuous barrage of sexual harassment that ceased only when she resigned from the force. Easton would bring up the subject of people having sex with animals each time Suders entered his office. He told Prendergast, in front of Suders, that young girls should be given instruction in how to gratify men with oral sex. Easton would also sit down near Suders, wearing Spandex shorts, and spread his legs apart. Baker repeatedly made obscene gestures in Suders’s presence and shouted out vulgar comments inviting sex. Baker made these gestures as many as 5 to 10 times per night throughout Suders’s employment at the barracks. Further, Baker would rub his rear end in front of her and remark “I have a nice ass, don’t I?” Five months after being hired, Suders contacted Virginia Smith Elliot, PSP’s equal opportunity officer, and stated that she was being harassed at work and was afraid. Smith Elliot’s response appeared to Suders to be insensitive and unhelpful. Two days later, Suders resigned from the force. Suders sued PSP, alleging that she had been subject to sexual harassment and constructively discharged and forced to resign. The employer argued that Suders should not be allowed to bring her case because she had resigned. Can Suders prevail on her sexual harassment claim? Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders, 542 U. S. 129, 124 S. Ct. 2342, 2004 U. S. Lexis 4176 (Supreme Court of the United States, 2004)
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