United States District Court, D. Maine
BRENDA PIPPIN, Plaintiff (2:14-cv-00167-JAW): JAMES A.
CLIFFORD, LEAD ATTORNEY, CLIFFORD & CLIFFORD, LLC, NEBUNK,
BOULEVARD MOTEL CORP, doing business as COMFORT INN SOUTH
PORTLAND HOTEL, Defendant (2:14-cv-00167-JAW): JAMES R.
ERWIN, MICHELLE Y. BUSH, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PIERCE ATWOOD LLP,
MERRILL'S WHARF, PORTLAND, ME.
GRACE PARKER, Plaintiff (2:14-cv-00169-JAW): JAMES A.
CLIFFORD, LEAD ATTORNEY, CLIFFORD & CLIFFORD, LLC, KENNEBUNK,
BOULEVARD MOTEL CORP, Defendant (2:14-cv-00169-JAW): JAMES R.
ERWIN, MICHELLE Y. BUSH, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PIERCE ATWOOD LLP,
MERRILL'S WHARF, PORTLAND, ME.
GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
WOODCOCK, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Pippin and Grace Parker brought separate lawsuits under the
Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA) and Maine Whistleblower
Protection Act (MWPA), alleging that Boulevard Motel Corp.
(Boulevard Motel), their former employer, wrongfully
retaliated against them. Boulevard Motel has moved for
summary judgment on the ground that each former
employee's claim falls under the " job duties"
exception to these Acts. Despite reservations about the scope
of and policy behind the " job duties" exception,
the Court has applied the latest teaching from the First
Circuit Court of Appeals, and having resolved issues
regarding the disputed record, the Court concludes that there
are no genuine disputes of material fact that require jury
resolution on either claim and that Boulevard Motel is
entitled to summary judgment on each.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
March 21, 2014, Brenda Pippin and Grace Parker, former
employees of Boulevard Motel, filed separate, simultaneous
complaints in Cumberland County Superior Court for the state
of Maine against Boulevard Motel. Decl. of Michelle Y.
Bush Attach. 2 Compl. (ECF No. 3). They alleged
that Boulevard Motel committed various violations of state
and federal law by terminating them. Id.
Specifically, Ms. Pippin alleged (1) two counts of unlawful
retaliation under the MHRA; (2) one count of adverse
employment action for activity protected by the MWPA; and (3)
gender discrimination in violation of the MHRA. Id.
¶ ¶ 17-34 ( Pippin, 2:14-cv-00167-JAW) (
Pippin ). Likewise, Ms.
Parker alleged the same three violations of law as Ms.
Pippin, and also alleged (1) age discrimination in violation
of the MHRA, and (2) age discrimination in violation of the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Id.
¶ ¶ 17-48 ( Parker, 2:14-cv-00169-JAW) (
Parker ). Boulevard Motel removed both cases to this
Court on April 22, 2014. Notice of Removal (ECF No.
1). On May 2, 2014, Boulevard Motel filed its Answer to each
Complaint. Answer to Compl. (ECF No. 5).
January 13, 2015, the Plaintiffs moved to dismiss certain
counts in each Complaint without prejudice. Am. Notice of
Voluntary Dismissal of Count III, or in the Alt., Mot. to
Dismiss Count III (ECF No. 23) ( Pippin );
Am. Notice of Voluntary Dismissal of Counts III-V, or in
the Alt., Mot. to Dismiss Counts III-V (ECF No. 23) (
Parker ). The Court granted their motions on
February 20, 2015. Order on Mots. to Dismiss (ECF
No. 31). Each Plaintiff now brings one count of whistleblower
retaliation under the MWPA and one count of retaliation under
February 27, 2015, Boulevard Motel filed a motion for summary
judgment as to both Ms. Pippin and Ms. Parker with a
supporting statement of material facts. Def.'s Mot.
for Summ. J. (ECF No. 32) ( Def.'s Mot. );
Def.'s Statement of Material Facts (ECF No. 33)
(DSMF). Ms. Pippin and Ms. Parker responded to Boulevard
Motel's motion and its statement of material facts, and
filed a statement of additional material facts on March 16,
2015. Pls.' Mem. of Law in Opp'n to Def.'s
Mot. for Summ. J. (ECF No. 39) ( Pls.'
Opp'n ); Pls.' Opposing Statement of
Material Facts (ECF No. 40) (PRDSMF); Pls.'
Statement of Additional Material Facts (ECF No. 40)
(PSAMF). On March 26, 2015, Boulevard Motel filed a reply to
Ms. Pippin and Ms. Parker's response and to their
statement of additional material facts. Def.'s Reply
in Support of Summ. J. (ECF No. 42) ( Def.'s
Reply ); Def.'s Reply to Pls.' Statement of
Additional Material Facts (ECF No. 43) (DRPSAMF).
Finally, on June 4, 2015, the Court heard oral argument.
Minute Entry (ECF No. 45).
The Parties and the Plaintiffs' Job
Motel Corp. was the owner and operator of the Comfort Inn
Hotel in South Portland, Maine (" Comfort Inn" ) in
2010 and 2011. DSMF ¶ 1; PRDSMF ¶ 1.
Brenda Pippin was employed by Boulevard Motel as the
Executive Housekeeper at the Comfort Inn. DSMF ¶ 2;
PRDSMF ¶ 2. Ms. Pippin worked at the Comfort Inn for
over twenty-four years, though Boulevard Motel did not own or
operate the Comfort Inn during that whole time period. PSAMF
¶ 1; DRPSAMF ¶ 1. She worked initially as a
housekeeper for two years, then in laundry for approximately
three years, and then became Executive Housekeeper.
Id.  As
Executive Housekeeper, Ms. Pippin was in charge of the
housekeeping department and had responsibilities relating to
hiring, firing, supervising and disciplining housekeeping
employees. DSMF ¶ 3; PRDSMF ¶ 3. Ms. Pippin
supervised Grace Parker and housekeeper Abinair Martin, among
others. DSMF ¶ 12; PRDSMF ¶ 12.
Grace Parker was employed by Boulevard Motel as the Assistant
Executive Housekeeper at the Comfort Inn. DSMF ¶ 4;
PRDSMF ¶ 4. Ms. Parker worked for the Comfort Inn for
eleven years (starting in 2000), beginning first as a
housekeeper and laundry aide before becoming Assistant
Executive Housekeeper several years later. PSAMF ¶ 2;
DRPSAMF ¶ 2. As Assistant Executive Housekeeper,
Ms. Parker had supervisory duties and was responsible for
performing Ms. Pippin's responsibilities when Ms. Pippin
was not at work, including overseeing daily tasks of the
housekeeping staff, except Ms. Parker was unable to hire,
fire, or discipline housekeeping employees. DSMF ¶ 5;
PRDSMF ¶ 5;  PSAMF ¶ 3; DRPSAMF ¶
3. Ms. Parker supervised
Abinair Martin when Ms. Pippin was not at work, but Ms.
Parker did not have the authority to fire or discipline Ms.
Martin. DSMF ¶ 13; PRDSMF ¶ 13.
Sexual Harassment Policy and Training
Pippin and Ms. Parker each received annual training entitled,
" Preventing Sexual Harassment Supervisor Version."
DSMF ¶ 6; PRDSMF ¶ 6. That annual training
instructed supervisors such as Ms. Parker and Ms. Pippin to
immediately report employee complaints of sexual harassment
according to the reporting structure outlined in company
policy. DSMF ¶ 7; PRDSMF ¶ 7. Boulevard
sexual harassment policy contained in its employee handbook
required that " any supervisor who sees or hears about
conduct that may constitute harassment under this policy must
immediately contact the Property Manager or Sunburst
Hospitality's Corporate Human Resources Department."
DSMF ¶ 8; PRDSMF ¶ 8.
Pippin and Ms. Parker each received copies of the employee
handbook. DSMF ¶ 9; PRDSMF ¶ 9. Boulevard
Motel's policy entitled, " Supervisor's Role
During Sexual Harassment Investigation Procedures,"
required Ms. Parker and Ms. Pippin to report to human
resources any employee complaints about alleged harassment.
DSMF ¶ 10; PRDSMF ¶ 10. Ms. Pippin and Ms.
Parker each received a copy of the policy entitled, "
Supervisor's Role During Sexual Harassment Investigation
Procedures." DSMF ¶ 11; PRDSMF ¶ 11.
Motel's sexual harassment policy instructed that
employees with complaints of harassment could bring them to
their supervisor, the hotel manager, or human resources. DSMF
¶ 36; PRDSMF ¶ 36.
April 21, 2010: The Alleged Sexual Harassment Incident
Witnessed by Grace Parker
about April 21, 2010, Ms. Parker witnessed an incident
between Ms. Martin and a maintenance employee, Randy
Crabtree. DSMF ¶ 14; PRDSMF ¶ 14. On that day, Ms.
Parker was supervisor of the housekeeping department,
including Ms. Martin, because Ms. Pippin was not at work.
DSMF ¶ 15; PRDSMF ¶ 15. Ms. Parker was in the
break room when she overheard Mr. Crabtree call Ms. Martin
" nipples." DSMF ¶ 16; PRDSMF ¶ 16.
Parker then went outside with Ms. Martin and asked her if Mr.
Crabtree had said what she thought she heard; Ms. Martin
answered that he had. DSMF ¶ 17; PRDSMF ¶ 17. Ms.
Martin then told Ms. Parker that Mr. Crabtree had
also stated that he heard that Brazilian women have big
nipples and asked Ms. Martin, who is Brazilian, to lift her
shirt and show him her nipples so he could suck them. DSMF
¶ 18; PRDSMF ¶ 18. Ms. Parker told Ms. Martin that
she needed to document everything and that they should go to
Beth Landergren, Hotel General Manager. DSMF ¶ 19;
PRDSMF ¶ 19. Ms. Martin responded that she wanted to
wait for Ms. Pippin to return to work so they could go to Ms.
Landergren together. DSMF ¶ 20; PRDSMF ¶ 20.
April 24, 2010: Brenda Pippin Returns to Work
about April 24, 2010, when Ms. Pippin returned to work, Ms.
Parker told Ms. Pippin that Ms. Martin had something to tell
her. DSMF ¶ 21; PRDSMF ¶ 21. Ms. Martin, Ms. Parker
and Ms. Pippin were having a lunch break when Ms. Martin told
Ms. Pippin about the incident with Mr. Crabtree. DSMF ¶
22; PRDSMF ¶ 22. Ms. Pippin told Ms. Martin that they
needed to go talk to Ms. Landergren. DSMF ¶ 23; PRDSMF
April 27, 2010: Brenda Pippin, Grace Parker, and Abinair
Martin Speak with Beth Landergren; Ms. Landergren
and Ms. Martin Report the Allegations to the
Human Resources Department
about April 27, 2010, Ms. Pippin, Ms. Parker, and Ms. Martin
went to talk to Ms. Landergren. DSMF ¶ 24; PRDSMF ¶
24. Ms. Pippin told Ms. Landergren that Ms. Martin had an
incident with Mr. Crabtree that she needed to tell to Ms.
Landergren. DSMF ¶ 25; PRDSMF ¶ 25. Ms. Martin then
proceeded to describe to Ms. Landergren the incident with Mr.
Crabtree that had occurred on or about April 21, 2010. DSMF
¶ 26; PRDSMF ¶ 26.
Landergren said she " would believe" Ms.
Martin's allegations if they had been directed toward
another employee, Michael Cox, but not Mr. Crabtree, and she
initially tried to dissuade Ms. Martin from pressing the
matter by claiming Mr. Crabtree " doesn't fit the
profile" and commented " are you sure he wasn't
joking because he jokes around with everybody," but Ms.
Landergren then informed Ignacio Mello, Boulevard Motel's
Human Resources Manager, about Ms. Martin's allegations.
DSMF ¶ 27; PRDSMF ¶ 27;  PSAMF ¶ 7;
DRPSAMF ¶ 7.
initial April 27, 2010 statement, Ms. Landergren reported
that Ms. Martin's " husband told her that she has to
report and have something done about it. Her husband feels it
is disrespectful and makes her feel badly about her
body." PSAMF ¶ 8; DRPSAMF ¶ 8. That same
day, Ms. Landergren revised her initial statement in which
she recounted her meeting with Ms. Martin, Ms. Pippin and Ms.
Parker. PSAMF ¶ 9; DRPSAMF ¶ 9. She stated that Ms.
Martin told her what Mr. Crabtree had done to her, and that
she (Ms. Landergren) said Mr. Crabtree " joked around
with everyone." Id. According to Ms.
Landergren, Ms. Martin " immediately burst out
crying" and asked why Ms. Landergren would allow this to
go on so that she would have to be the one to get hurt and
make a formal complaint? Id. Ms. Landergren stated
that she then told Ms. Martin that Mr. Crabtree " jokes
around" with everyone, and Ms. Martin was the only one
who he offended. Id.
April 27, 2010, Ms. Parker assisted Ms. Martin in writing a
statement of events to submit to Mr. Mello; Ms. Parker wrote
on Ms. Martin's statement " this is written by Grace
Parker because Abinair Martin cannot spell and write English
very well." PSAMF ¶ 10; DRPSAMF ¶
April 29 and 30, 2010: Beth Landergren Speaks with Randy
Crabtree Regarding Abinair Martin's Allegations
April 29, 2010, Ms. Landergren had a meeting with Mr.
Crabtree in which she outlined the allegations against him
and asked for his response. PSAMF ¶ 11; DRPSAMF ¶
11. The following day, Ms.
Landergren had another meeting with Mr. Crabtree to follow up
on the previous day's meeting about the allegations of
harassment. PSAMF ¶ 12; DRPSAMF ¶ 12.
Approximately Early May 2010: Ignacio Mello Investigates
Abinair Martin's Allegations
Mello arrived at the Comfort Inn approximately one week later
to further investigate Ms. Martin's allegations. DSMF
¶ 28; PRDSMF ¶ 28. While Mr. Mello was at the
Comfort Inn, he interviewed witnesses and gathered
statements, including meeting with Ms. Parker and Ms. Pippin.
DSMF ¶ 29; PRDSMF ¶ 29. Ms. Parker told Mr. Mello
what she had heard and that she had written a statement,
which Boulevard Motel had requested. DSMF ¶ 30; PRDSMF
¶ 30. Ms. Pippin also provided written statements at
Boulevard Motel's request. DSMF ¶ 31; PRDSMF ¶
31. Ms. Pippin never witnessed any of the behavior described
by Ms. Martin or any other sexually inappropriate behavior by
Mr. Crabtree. DSMF ¶ 32; PRDSMF ¶ 32. Ms. Martin
submitted a statement in Portuguese with a translation by her
son. DSMF ¶ 33; PRDSMF ¶ 33.
Mello told Ms. Parker, Ms. Pippin, and Ms. Martin " not
to talk about [the harassment] at all" or they "
would get written up or terminated." PSAMF ¶ 14;
DRPSAMF ¶ 14. Mr. Mello believed Ms. Martin should
not have spoken to Ms. Landergren regarding the investigation
after the initial report. PSAMF ¶ 15; DRPSAMF ¶
Beth Landergren is Removed from the Investigation
Landergren was told by Mr. Mello that she was not to be
involved in the investigation after Ms. Martin reported to
him that she felt Ms. Landergren " was biased in the
investigation and was taking Randy's side." PSAMF
¶ 16; DRPSAMF ¶ 16.
Boulevard Motel's Investigative Findings and Subsequent
Actions as a Result of Those Findings
the completion of the investigation, Boulevard Motel
determined that Mr. Crabtree had engaged in inappropriate
conduct, as did Ms. Landergren during the investigation of
Mr. Crabtree's conduct, but nonetheless concluded that
the incidents did not rise to the level of unlawful sexual
harassment. DSMF ¶ 34; PRDSMF ¶ 34. In Mr.
Mello's view, Boulevard Motel took prompt and remedial
action in (1) responding to Ms. Martin's allegations, (2)
investigating the allegations, and (3) issuing discipline to
Mr. Crabtree, which included a finding that he "
exercised poor judgement, engaged in unprofessional and
inappropriate workplace behavior, blurred the line between
supervisor and friend, and that [he] may have violated
Sunburst's sexual harassment policy," and he was
provided a written warning requiring him to complete
additional harassment training. DSMF ¶ 35; PRDSMF ¶
Boulevard Motel's conclusion that Mr. Crabtree's
conduct violated company policy but did not rise to the level
of unlawful sexual harassment, Ms. Parker and Ms. Pippin
believed Mr. Crabtree's behavior to be a violation of law
and company policy, as well as a health and safety risk to
Ms. Martin and other employees at Comfort Inn South Portland.
PSAMF ¶ 21; DRPSAMF ¶ 21.
Brenda Pippin and Grace Parker's Understanding of
Protocol and Procedure
Pippin believes that Ms. Martin should have brought her
concerns about Mr. Crabtree to Ms. Pippin's attention
because Ms. Pippin was her boss. DSMF ¶ 37; PRDSMF
¶ 37. Ms. Pippin also believes that Ms. Parker should
have told Ms. Pippin about Ms. Martin's concerns because
Ms. Pippin was Ms. Parker's boss. DSMF ¶ 38; PRDSMF
¶ 38. Ms. Pippin agrees that she should have brought Ms.
Martin's report to Ms. Landergren's attention. DSMF
¶ 39; PRDSMF ¶ 39. Ms. Pippin agrees that the
report about Mr. Crabtree's behavior was made on Ms.
Martin's behalf and was Ms. Pippin's report to make.
DSMF ¶ 40; PRDSMF ¶ 40. Ms. Parker understood
that, acting with some supervisory authority in Ms.
Pippin's absence, if an employee had a problem or needed
to report something like sexual harassment he or she could
and should report to her. DSMF ¶ 41; PRDSMF ¶
41. Ms. Parker and Ms. Pippin performed
their job duties as supervisors pursuant to Boulevard
Motel's policies in reporting Ms. Martin's complaint
of allegedly sexually harassing behavior up the chain of
command. DSMF ¶ 45; PRDSMF ¶ 45.
Randy Crabtree and Beth Landergren
Parker discussed with Ms. Martin her (Ms. Parker's)
belief that Mr. Crabtree and Ms. Landergren were involved in
a romantic relationship before making reports of Mr. Crabtree
sexually harassing Ms. Martin. PSAMF ¶ 4; DRPSAMF ¶
4. Ms. Parker heard Ms. Landergren call Mr. Crabtree "
sunshine" at work. Id.  Ms. Parker
believed Ms. Landergren and Mr. Crabtree flirted openly at
work and spent personal time together outside of work. PSAMF
¶ 5; DRPSAMF ¶ 5. Although Ms. Pippin
did not know whether Ms. Landergren and Mr. Crabtree had an
affair, she also heard Ms. Landergren refer to Mr. Crabtree
as " sunshine" at work. PSAMF ¶ 6; DRPSAMF
¶ 6. In addition,
Mr. Mello was aware of allegations that Ms. Landergren and
Mr. Crabtree were romantically involved. PSAMF ¶ 13;
DRPSAMF ¶ 13. Mr. Mello asked Ms. Landergren and Mr.
Crabtree if there was in fact a romantic relationship; they
both denied having such a relationship. Id.
11, 2010, Ms. Landergren received Confidential Memorandum
from Ned Heiss, Vice President of Operations, rebuking her
for the way she handled the investigation and her
inappropriate involvement therein. PSAMF ¶ 17; DRPSAMF
¶ 17. Mr. Crabtree also received a written reprimand
from Mr. Heiss on May 11, 2010. Id. 
Subsequent Events in 2010
2, 2010, Ms. Pippin faxed a handwritten statement to Mr.
Mello in which she relates Ms. Martin was still very upset,
and felt that Ms. Landergren only cared about saving Mr.
Crabtree. PSAMF ¶ 18; DRPSAMF ¶ 18. Also on
June 2, 2010, Ms. Parker faxed a statement to Mr. Mello
reporting a conversation she had with Veronica Connolly, a
front desk employee: " Veronica said she
had a feeling that if she didn't go along with Beth about
the Abinair situation that she felt like she would be
fired." PSAMF ¶ 19; DRPSAMF ¶
8, 2010, Ms. Landergren responded to an email from Mr. Mello,
in which he stated a need to hire a laundry person that would
" be Supervisor (not Asst. Exec Hskpr) on two days, pay
differential on those days but that person would not have
managerial privileges (no hiring or firing) but would open
and close the department, inspects rooms, etc., on the days
Exec[utive Housekeeper] is off." PSAMF ¶ 20;
DRPSAMF ¶ 20. Ms. Landergren's response was "
Ok, that's exactly what Grace does now."
2011 Incident Involving Michael Cox
2011, Ms. Parker witnessed another maintenance employee,
Michael Cox, take his shirt off and approach the back of
another housekeeper. DSMF ¶ 42; PRDSMF ¶ 42. Ms.
Parker reported the incident to Ms. Landergren. DSMF ¶
43; PRDSMF ¶ 43. Ms. Parker understood that reporting to
Ms. Landergren what she had witnessed regarding Mr. Cox's
actions was consistent with the policy regarding supervisor
responsibility for harassment. DSMF ¶ 44; PRDSMF ¶
Brenda Pippin and Grace Parker are Terminated in
about February 23, 2011, Boulevard Motel terminated Ms.
Parker's employment purportedly for a critical offense:
violation of the company's ethics policy. DSMF ¶ 46;
PRDSMF ¶ 46. On or about July 5, 2011, Boulevard
Motel terminated Ms. Pippin's employment purportedly for
an accumulation of offenses per the company's progressive
discipline policy. DSMF ¶ 47; PRDSMF ¶
THE PARTIES' POSITIONS
Motel argues that the facts establish that Ms. Pippin and Ms.
Parker, as supervisors, " had a responsibility to
receive and elevate reports of alleged sexual
harassment" to upper management, and having done so,
neither " made any reports that would be protected under
the MWPA or MHRA." Def.'s Mot. at 2.
Specifically, it says
[t]heir conduct in elevating Martin's report falls into
the " job duties" exception to the MWPA and MHRA,
which has also been described as the " scope of
employment" or " manager rule." This exception
limits the protection of anti-retaliation statutes to
employees who step outside the scope of their employment
duties in reporting or opposing illegal practices in a manner
not dictated by the strictures of their jobs.
Id. at 5.
Motel explains that to prevail under the MWPA, Ms. Pippin and
Ms. Parker each " must prove that: '(1) she engaged
in activity protected by the MWPA; (2) she experienced an
adverse employment action; and (3) a causal connection
existed between the protected activity and the adverse
employment action.'" Id. at 6 (quoting
Walsh v. Town of Millinocket, 2011 ME 99, ¶ 24,
28 A.3d 610). Boulevard Motel asserts that Ms. Pippin and Ms.
Parker fail under the first prong of the test articulated in
Walsh, because the First Circuit recognized in
Winslow v. Aroostook County, 736 F.3d 23, 32 (1st
Cir. 2013) " the job duties exception to the MWPA,"
where the Winslow Court " concluded that the
plaintiff had not engaged in any protected activity when she
followed her supervisor's direction in reporting an
alleged violation of law up the chain of command."
Def.'s Mot. at 6-7. Boulevard Motel directs the
Court's attention to several recent cases from this
district that have upheld the Winslow holding:
Harrison v. Granite Bay Care, Inc., No.
(D. Me. June 30, 2014), report and recommendation
adopted, (D. Me. Sept. 4, 2014), and Stark v. Hartt
Transportation Systems, 37 F.Supp.3d 445 (D. Me. 2014).
Def.'s Mot. at 7-9. It also directs the
Court's attention to a recent Maine superior court case
" reflecting an approach consistent with
Winslow" : Hall v. Mid-State Machine
Products, No. 11-CV-068, (Sept. 4, 2013). Def.'s
Mot. at 9. In sum, Boulevard Motel argues " [i]t
was unquestionably part of both Pippin's and Parker's
job responsibilities to receive Martin's report of
alleged sexual harassment and to immediately handle it by
elevating it to the appropriate management level."
Id. at 9-10.
to the Plaintiffs' claims under the MHRA, Boulevard Motel
asserts they each " must prove that she engaged in
protected activity; her employer made an employment decision
that adversely affected her; and that there was a causal link
between the protected activity and the adverse employment
action." Id. at 10-11 (citing Doyle v.
Dep't of Human Servs., 2003 ME 61, ¶ 20, 824
A.2d 48). Conceding that it has not found any caselaw from
the Maine Supreme Judicial Court regarding " the scope
of protection afforded by the MHRA anti-retaliation provision
as applied to reports made by supervisors as part of their
supervisory duties," Boulevard Motel argues that the
Court should look to analogous federal law for guidance;
specifically, Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3.
Id. at 11 (citing Watt v. UniFirst Corp.,
2009 ME 47, ¶ 22 n.4, 969 A.2d 897; Ramsdell v.
Huhtamaki, Inc., 992 F.Supp.2d 1, 14-15, n.19 (D. Me.
2014)). According to Boulevard Motel, while the First Circuit
has not established a " manager rule" or " job
duties" exception to the anti-retaliation provision
under Title VII, " it has previously stated that it
assumes the manager rule would apply to retaliation claims
brought under Title VII." Id. (citing