Monday, March 15, 2010

Eleventh Circuit To Hear Title VII Case En Banc

The Eleventh Circuit voted to hear Corbitt v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. en banc.  The order vacates the prior panel opinion, Corbitt v. Home Depot, U.S.A., Inc., 589 F.3d 1136 (11th Cir. 2009), which itself vacated Corbitt v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., 573 F.3d 1223 (11th Cir. 2009).  The facts, from the introduction section of the Eleventh Circuit's 84 page December opinion (589 F.3d 1136) are:
The plaintiffs, David Corbitt and Alexander Raya (collectively, “Appellants”), appeal the entry of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. (“Home Depot”), on their sexual harassment and retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e–2000e-17, and their state law claims of assault and battery, outrage, and invasion of privacy. This action arose from the Appellants’ employment with and termination from Home Depot. The Appellants asserted claims of sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of Title VII, claiming that Home Depot’s regional human resources manager, Leonard Cavaluzzi, sexually harassed them and subjected them to a hostile work environment from approximately March of 2005 until mid-November of 2005, and that they were terminated on December 13, 2005 in retaliation for reporting the alleged sexual harassment. Home Depot denied their sexual harassment claim and stated that even if the alleged conduct occurred, the allegations did not rise to the level of sexual harassment under Title VII and did not constitute the intentional torts of assault and battery, outrage, or invasion of privacy. According to Home Depot, the Appellants were lawfully terminated for repeated violations of Home Depot’s policies.
Both now vacated decisions were 2-1, with Middle District of Florida Judge Patricia C. Fawsett dissenting.


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