United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
TERENCE C. KERN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 24) filed
by Defendant O'Reilly Automotive Stores, Inc.
(“O'Reilly”). O'Reilly seeks summary
judgment against Plaintiff Chumeica Paden on Ms. Paden's
claims against it for sexual harassment, retaliation and
constructive discharge, in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1991, as amended, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000e, et seq.
March 6, 2015, Plaintiff was hired by O'Reilly as a parts
delivery driver for Store 169 located at 309 E. Main Street,
Henryetta, Oklahoma. (Doc. 24, Ex. 1, Pl. Employment
Summary). At the time of her hire, Plaintiff lived at 301 W.
6th Street in Dewar, Oklahoma. Id. O'Reilly
operates another Store (Store No. 189) in Okmulgee County,
located at 220 S. Wood Dr., Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Id.
The distance between Plaintiff's residence and Store 189
in Okmulgee is 12.7 miles, resulting in a 16-minute commute.
(Def. Ex. 2, Map). The distance between Plaintiff's
residence and Store 169 in Henryetta is 3.4 miles and a
six-minute commute. Id.
testified that while employed by O'Reilly, she was
scheduled to work three days a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,
for a total of 18 hours, and that she took any other hours
O'Reilly would provide. Id., Ex. 4, Pl.'s
Dep., 29:38; 30:22-24. She stated that on average, she worked
an additional two hours a day, twice a week, when asked.
Id., at 29:3-5; 30:22-24. However, Plaintiff's
payroll records show that her work hours varied, with no
18-hour guarantee. Doc. 39, Ex. 6. In the five months before
her resignation, she worked between approximately 11 hours to
24 hours a week. Id.
has three children, who were ages ten, eight and four during
her employment with O'Reilly. Ex. 4 at 69:18-71:29. The
two oldest were in Dewar Public Schools and the youngest was
in early development child care. Id. During the
school year, the two oldest children were in school from 8:15
a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Id., at 70:20-71:18. In the summer
months, the two oldest children stayed with grandparents.
Id., at 71:20-22. Plaintiff's mother watched the
youngest child during the summer months, if needed.
Id., at 72:1-12. On the days Plaintiff worked
additional hours beyond her scheduled hours, her children
stayed with friends. Id., at 58:19-59-6. Plaintiff
testified that “obviously, staying with friends
can't happen every day” if she was working.
Id., at 59:4-6.
alleges that in March 2015, she and co-worker Vicky VanMeter
delivered parts to O'Reilly customer Greg Henry, of Greg
Henry's Auto & Boat Repair. Doc. 5, First Amended
Complaint, ¶12. She contends that after Ms. VanMeter
introduced Plaintiff, Mr. Henry stated, “I can handle
seeing that every day.” Id. Plaintiff alleges
that Mr. Henry continued making similar comments throughout
her employment. Id. In June of 2015, he started
asking Plaintiff inappropriate questions, including
“Does your husband please you?” and “Are
you being satisfied at home? Because I'm sure I can do a
better job, ” and that he would tell her that she
forgot something, only to tell her when she walked back to
him that he ‘just wanted to watch [me] walk away
again.'” Doc. 34, Ex. 4, Paden Affid. Plaintiff
alleges that in November of 2015, Plaintiff made three
deliveries to Mr. Henry's shop within a span of a few
hours, and that Mr. Henry made sexually inappropriate
comments to her, even though she asked him to stop. Doc. 5,
testified that in November of 2015, she told Store Manager
Brayden Hackler that Mr. Henry had “ma[d]e comments
daily” to her when she made deliveries to his business;
however, she never told him that she was uncomfortable making
deliveries there or that somebody else needed to take over
the driving responsibilities. Doc. 24, Ex. 4 at 26:8-27:6;
also testified that in December of 2015, Mr. Henry visited
the Henryetta store and made inappropriate comments to her,
including that she looked sexy and that he would leave parts
there so she could bring them to him later. Doc. 5,
Complaint, ¶18; Doc. 34, Ex. 3, Paden Dep., 20:25-21:6.
response to an interrogatory asking her to state “each
date on which you notified O'Reilly of the alleged
discrimination that is the subject of this litigation,
” Plaintiff stated:
On February 2, 2016, Plaintiff informed Mary Messer,
Assistant Manager[, ] of the sexual harassment. On February
2, 2016, Plaintiff informed Brayden Hackler, Store Manager,
of the sexual harassment. They spoke again on February 3rd.
On February 9, 2016, Plaintiff informed Scott Mullin,
District Manager of the sexual harassment.
Doc. 24, Ex. 5, Response to Interrogatory No. 8.
Howell, O'Reilly's Installer Service Specialist, was
responsible for drivers and deliveries. Doc. 34, Ex. 5, Shawn
Howell Dep. at 5:16-20, 7:1-8. Plaintiff testified that she
told Mr. Howell that Greg Henry “ma[de] comments daily
that aren't needed.” Doc. 24, Ex. 4, Paden Dep. at
21:14-21. She admitted she did not tell him she didn't
want to make deliveries to his business, although she did
tell him “if it was preventable while other drivers
were there, I would prefer not to.” Id.,
22:2-8. However, she said that it “never worked
out” in her favor because she “was, basically,
the only [delivery person] for most of the day.”
testified that a former O'Reilly employee, Tammy Collins,
told her Mr. Henry had also made inappropriate comments to
her when she made deliveries to his business. Id.,
22:23-23:24. However, Ms. Collins testified that although
Greg Henry had sexually harassed her when she made a delivery
to his business, she never reported the incident to
O'Reilly management. Doc. 39, Ex. 2, 15:18-17:23;
19:25-2. She also testified that when she was assistant store
manager, none of the female drivers ever complained to her
about Greg Henry. Id., 20:3-14.
Complaint alleges that on February 2, 2016, while Plaintiff
was making a delivery to Mr. Henry's shop, he approached
her from behind and grabbed her inner thigh mid-way up her
right leg. Doc. 5, ¶21. Plaintiff hit him in
the stomach and told him not to touch her. Id. The
same day, after returning from Mr. Henry's shop, she
reported the incident to O'Reilly Assistant Manager Mary
Messer. Doc. 24, Ex. 6, ¶12. After her shift ended that
day, Plaintiff texted Manager Brayden Hackler, asking him to
call her as soon as possible to discuss something that
happened with Mr. Henry, and adding that “It's not
something that needed to be over text message.”
Id., Ex. 6, ¶13; Ex. 4, 35:10-36:2. According
to Plaintiff, Mr. Hackler replied that he was with family and
would call the next morning. Id., Ex. 4 at 36:3-11.
Hackler called Plaintiff the next morning, and Plaintiff told
him about Mr. Henry's conduct the previous day.
Id., Ex. 4 at 36:12-37:1; Ex. 7, Feb. 24, 2016
Hackler Statement. The following Monday, after O'Reilly
District Manager Scott Mullins returned from a conference,
Mr. Hackler called him to discuss Plaintiff's
allegations. Id. On Monday, February 8, 2015, Mr.
Mullins visited the Henryetta store and spoke with Plaintiff
about her allegations. Id., Ex. 4 at 38:6-19; Ex. 8,
Feb. 16, 2016 Mullins Statement. Plaintiff admits that after
reporting Greg Henry's alleged conduct on February 2,
2016, she experienced no further harassment from him.
being advised of Plaintiff's allegations, District
Manager Mullins undertook an investigation into her claims,
securing written statements from Plaintiff, other
O'Reilly employees and Mr. Henry. Id., Exs. 8,
14, 15, 18.
February 16, 2016, and February 23, 2016, O'Reilly
delivery driver Emma VanMeter submitted written statements
stating that Plaintiff had refused to make deliveries to the
City of Henryetta since the beginning of her employment
because a man who worked there (“Derick”) had
made sexual advances toward her several years before she
began working at O'Reilly. Id., Ex. 9, Feb. 16,
2016 VanMeter Statement; Ex. 10, Feb. 23, 2106 VanMeter
Statement. Ms. VanMeter also stated that Plaintiff had
refused to make deliveries to another customer, Mad Image,
because she alleged one of the owners had texted her sexual
content, and her husband had seen it. Id., Ex. 10.
Ms. Vanmeter concluded, “So now there are 3 place[s]
she will not deliver[:] City, Mad Image, Greg Henry.”
Id., Ex. 9. Ms. VanMeter also wrote that
“there are some guys at first street tire that have
stated to me and another driver that she wants guys to get
the ink p[e]n out of her pocket. They call her a Sexual
Harassment Lawsuit.” Id. Additionally, she
stated that Plaintiff had complained about Watson Tire and
Tow, claiming that when she walked into the business, they
were talking about her in some sort of sexual manner.
February 24, 2016, Plaintiff submitted a written statement
confirming she did not want to make deliveries to the City of
Henryetta or Mad Image. Id., Ex. 11. She stated that
she was asking not to be sent to the City of Henryetta
because a maintenance employee, “Derick, ” had
sexually harassed her in 2010, when he worked with her
husband at the Dewar Fire Department. Id. Plaintiff
stated that Mad Image owner “JR” had made
disrespectful comments to her and, after seeing a picture of
her on Facebook, had texted her, “Your son has the best
looking lunch date in the world.” Id.
Plaintiff indicated that her husband had seen the text and
asked her not to deliver to JR's shop. Id. She
concluded, “So out of respect for my husband I prefer
not to but I understand in some circumstances I may be the
only driver available.” Id.
February 29, 2016, Plaintiff signed another written statement
in which she stated that she had given her phone number to
Mad Image owner JR so he could contact her husband to work
out the financial details and set up a time frame to have the
work done. Id., Ex. 12. She also stated:
To be honest I am ok with my position as a driver. I do
understand with the shops that I do not deliver to makes it
difficult for management and available staff to deliver to
those places. But I'm not asking to be moved to a
different Position in the store. If its what needs to be done
to protect both sides its fine with me. Just know I would
like more training to better understand the Job At hand. [I]f
I were moved to something more detailed, I'm comfortable
working counter but my knowledge is limited on diagnosing a
problem with some vehicles. I am willing to learn what ever
it takes [t]o make this easier on the company. Because I need
this job and I didn't try to make things difficult for
any one. ...