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United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
September 28, 1995, Argued ; March 5, 1996, Decided
[*747] NIEMEYER, Circuit Judge, writing for the court only in parts I, III, and IV:
George E. Hopkins, Jr., alleges in his complaint in this case that his male supervisor's comments and actions created a sexually hostile work environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In granting the motion for summary judgment of Hopkins' employer, the district court held that Title VII does not provide a cause of action for an employee who has been subjected to sexual harassment by a supervisor of the same gender. We affirm the district court's judgment, but for the reason that Hopkins failed to make out a prima facie case of a hostile work environment.
From 1985 until 1993, Hopkins worked in the Photographic Services Unit of Baltimore Gas & Electric Company (BG&E) as a color photographic technician. His immediate supervisor was [**3] Ira Swadow. In October 1993, as part of a reduction in force and a company-wide reorganization, BG&E eliminated the Photographic Services Unit and its 13 positions, including those held by Hopkins and Swadow.
Hopkins contends that throughout his term of employment at BG&E, Swadow subjected him to discriminatory sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment. Hopkins bases his claim on the following incidents:
1. Swadow frequently entered the men's bathroom when Hopkins was there alone. On one occasion in 1986, while Hopkins was at the urinal, Swadow pretended to lock the door and said, "Ah, alone at last." He walked towards Hopkins, making Hopkins feel "very uncomfortable."
2. In 1987, Swadow wrote "S.W.A.K., kiss, kiss," and drew small hearts on internal mail Hopkins received from his fiancee, a BG&E employee. On another occasion, Swadow added the word "Alternative" in front of the company name "Lifestyles" on a piece of mail addressed to Hopkins.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
77 F.3d 745 *; 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 3833 **; 70 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 184; 67 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P43,923
GEORGE E. HOPKINS, JR., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. BALTIMORE GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY, Defendant-Appellee. AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION FOUNDATION; AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF MARYLAND, INC.; WOMEN'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND; NATIONAL WOMEN'S LAW CENTER; EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Amici Curiae.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. Alexander Harvey, II, Senior District Judge. (CA-93-4167-H).
harassment, sexual harassment, sexual, sex, gender, male, district court, comments, pervasive, hostile, severe, woman, same sex, same-gender, workplace, Photographic, prohibits, female, adverse employment action, male employee, discriminatory, retaliation, co-worker, employees, sex discrimination, statutory language, summary judgment, man and woman, slip opinion, orientation
Labor & Employment Law, Sexual Harassment, Employment Practices, Compensation Discrepancies, Discrimination, General Overview, Gender & Sex Discrimination, Scope & Definitions, Same-Sex Harassment, Tax Law, Federal Taxpayer Groups, S Corporations, Basis of Stock, Disability Discrimination, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Employee Burdens of Proof, Harassment, Standards of Proof, Pervasive & Severe Standards, Retaliation, Elements, Causation, Business & Corporate Compliance, Unfair Labor Practices, Employer Violations, Interference With Protected Activities, Adverse Employment Actions, Protected Activities, Statutory Application, Title VII Discrimination