Waldo v. Consumers Energy Co.

While employed as an electrical line worker, Waldo was subjected routinely to sexual harassment. Her coworkers displayed sexually explicit materials in the workplace, locked her in a porta-potty, ridiculed her for bringing a purse to work, demanded that she “pee like a man” and clean up her male coworkers’ tobacco spit, ostracized and ignored her on job sites and during trainings, and referred to her using gender-specific demeaning language. Waldo sued, bringing six federal and state-law discrimination claims, and a state-law tort claim. Although a jury rendered a verdict in favor of the employer, the district court granted Waldo a new trial on her Title VII hostile-work-environment claim, finding that the verdict was against the clear weight of the evidence. After a second trial, the jury found in favor of Waldo, and the district court awarded her attorney fees and costs as a prevailing plaintiff. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, rejecting challenges to the granting a new trial and the award of attorney fees and costs. There was clear testimony that the employer was aware of Waldo’s complaints, but that no formal response or investigation was undertaken, contrary to company policies that “[c]omplaints will be fully investigated.” View "Waldo v. Consumers Energy Co." on Justia Law