Weekly Law Resume - June 16, 2011: Summary Adjudication Against Plaintiff on Retaliation Claim is Improper Where Triable Issues Existed as to Whether Harassment by Co-Workers was Sufficiently Severe

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Patrick C. Kelley v. The Conco Companies, et al. Court of Appeal, First District (June 6, 2011)

In this case, the Appellate Court overturned the trial court's decision that the plaintiff, Patrick Kelley, had failed to raise triable issues of fact as to whether his co-workers engaged in retaliatory harassment that was severe enough to constitute an adverse employment action. However, the Appellate Court upheld the trial court's decision that Mr. Kelley had failed to produce evidence that would support a claim that he suffered discrimination in the workplace because of his gender.

The Conco Companies ("Conco"), a concrete construction company, hired Mr. Kelley as an apprentice iron worker at a job site with David Seaman as his supervisor. After he complained that Mr. Seaman subjected him to a barrage of sexually demeaning comments and gestures, he received similar comments from male co-workers. He was also subjected to physical threats by co-workers in retaliation for his complaints about Mr. Seaman.

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