Being Rude to Everyone Is Not Discrimination

February 25th, 2012 by JBWK

A Richmond federal judge has granted an employer summary judgment in a sexual harassment case involving a public school principal in Colonial Heights.

The general basis of the claim was that the new principal–who was hired to impose greater discipline and structure–was demanding, intimidating, and difficult to work with. There were two allegations of the principal touching female teachers, but in a nonsexual way. The vast majority of the school’s employees were female, and therefore bore the brunt of his intimidating behavior.

In dismissing the case, the judge noted that simply because female employees faced harsh working conditions does not automatically mean the actions were “because of” their sex. A superior may be equally rude to everyone, and the simple fact that the plaintiffs were female in this case did not mean the principal’s difficult attitude was in any way motivated by their sex. They therefore failed to prove an essential element of a sexual harassment case.



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