DECISION & JUDGMENT
Plaintiff had filed a two count Complaint asserting claims
for relief under the Maine Human Rights Act. This matter came
before the Court for trial on August 30, 2016. Subsequent to
the trial, the parties submitted written closing arguments
for the Court's further review.
upon the evidence presented at trial, the Court makes the
relatively brief period of time from September to November
2013, the Plaintiff was employed by the Defendant as a bar
server in the Defendant's VFW Hall. The Plaintiff
accepted the job offer in order to supplement her primary
employment with the Belfast Harbor Inn.
Plaintiff generally worked four shifts per week from 11 AM to
5 PM. Scott Cilley was the bar manager and a supervisor over
the Plaintiff. Mr. Cilley was responsible for making out the
Plaintiffs work schedule, and ultimately was the individual
who communicated the Employer's termination decision to
after the Plaintiff began working for the Defendant, Mr.
Cilley began a pattern of harassing behavior which included
poking the Plaintiff in her ribs, grabbing her around her
waist, swatting her with a fly swatter and talking about her
breasts. Mr. Cilley also touched the Defendant's legs
above her knee. Mr. Cilley told the Plaintiff he would take
her to his bed and made comments to her about her having a
nice butt and squeezing her breasts which he described as
Plaintiff repeatedly rebuffed Mr. Cilley's advances
telling him to knock it off on numerous occasions and
slapping his hand when he touched her. The Plaintiff
testified that Mr. Cilley's conduct made her feel
disgusting and cheap.
Commander of the VFW at the time, Steve Brown, observed some
of the conduct by Mr. Cilley as described above. Mr. Brown
failed to take effective action to stop Mr. Cilley's
the course of the Plaintiffs employment, the Defendant
experienced some difficulty with the Plaintiffs work
performance. In particular, the Plaintiff was never able to
properly reconcile "pull ticket" sales, thereby
leaving for other employees the task of reconciling these
type sales with the register proceeds. The Defendant employer
was also receiving customer complaints regarding Plaintiffs
failure to timely serve the customers.
the Plaintiff was also responding negatively regarding the
performance of some of her job duties such as the cleaning of
operations of the Defendant VFW were managed by a House
Committee. One week prior to the Plaintiffs actual
termination from employment, the House Committee voted to
terminate the Plaintiffs employment. The House Committee was
not made aware of Mr. Cilley's harassing behavior toward
the Plaintiff prior to or at the time of its' discussions
regarding the termination of Ms. Sullivan.
Brown instructed Mr. Cilley to inform the Plaintiff of her
termination. The Defendant delayed the actual termination of
the Plaintiff for one week in order to try to find a
replacement worker. On the day the Plaintiff was terminated,
early in the shift, the Plaintiff acknowledged that she was
approached by Mr. Cilley who informed her that he needed to
speak with her later that day.
that same shift, after Mr. Cilley had informed the Plaintiff
that they would need to talk later that day, Mr. Cilley
engaged in another incident of harassing behavior towards the
Plaintiff. Specifically, the Plaintiff testified that Mi*.
Cilley slapped her in the butt really hard. This incident
occurred while Mr. Cilley was behind the bar and other
customers were present.
end of that shift, approximately two hours after the slapping
incident, Mr. Cilley approached the Plaintiff and informed
her that she was being fired. The Plaintiff was ...