845 F.2d 104 (5th Cir. 1988), 87-3474, Bennett v. Corroon & Black Corp.

Docket Nº:87-3474.
Citation:845 F.2d 104
Party Name:Bernice BENNETT, Plaintiff-Appellant, Cross-Appellee, v. CORROON & BLACK CORP., et al., Defendants-Appellees, Cross-Appellants.
Case Date:May 12, 1988
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 104

845 F.2d 104 (5th Cir. 1988)

Bernice BENNETT, Plaintiff-Appellant, Cross-Appellee,

v.

CORROON & BLACK CORP., et al., Defendants-Appellees, Cross-Appellants.

No. 87-3474.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

May 12, 1988

Rehearing Denied June 9, 1988.

Page 105

David W. Oestreicher, II, Oestreicher, Whalen & Hackett, New Orleans, La., for plaintiff-appellant, cross-appellee.

Dermott S. McGlinchey, Robert B. Mitchell, Eve Barrie Masinter, McGlinchey, Stafford, Mintz, Cellini & Lang, New Orleans, La., for defendants-appellees, cross-appellants.

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Before REAVLEY, KING and SMITH, Circuit Judges.

REAVLEY, Circuit Judge:

Bernice Bennett brought this Title VII suit against her employer, Corroon & Black of Louisiana, Inc., alleging sexual harassment. The district court rendered summary judgment in favor of the employer. Though we are in disagreement with the grounds stated by that court, we affirm the judgment.

A.

On December 5, 1985 Bennett was told by a fellow employee that there were obscene cartoons bearing her name posted in the public men's room of their office building. At the end of that day Bennett obtained four of the cartoons, which are before us in this record and which depict her engaged in crude and deviant sexual activities. Obscene cartoons had been posted in the men's room for approximately a week, and those labeled with Bennett's name were seen by the chief executive officer of defendant employer on the morning of December 5. After seeing them, he did nothing to have them removed until the following day when he learned of Bennett's reaction to them.

The realization that these cartoons had been visible to any male co-employee or client using the facility was extremely embarrassing and upsetting to Ms. Bennett. She left her office on December 5 and did not return to her work for this employer. She obtained other employment on February 17, 1986, which continued until September

Page 106

15, 1986, when she voluntarily terminated that employment. Shortly after the Bennett incident, and in part because of it, the parent company of defendant employer removed the chief executive officer of the employer corporation. The employer then assured Bennett of the good opinion that management and the other employees held for her and requested on...

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