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Burlington Industries V. Ellerth

Kimberly Ellerth quit her job as a sales person at Burlington Industries after working there for 15 months. Her reasoning was that her supervisor, Ted Slowik, was sexually harassing her. Ellerth did not inform any other supervisors, and therefore the company was unaware of Slowik’s actions with Ellerth. Despite her refusals with Slowik’s advances, Ellerth did not suffer any tangible retaliation. Ellerth challenged Burlington claiming that the company forced her constructive discharge. Ellerth filed in violation of Title VII with sexual harassment under a hostile work environment and quid pro quo. The District Court granted Burlington summary judgment. The Court of Appeals reversed and opined that Burlington was liable. Burlington appealed to the Supreme Court. Can an employee, who despite…

Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth

After being employed for 15 months, respondent Kimberly Ellerth quit her job as a sales person in one of the many divisions of Burlington Industries. She quit because allegedly, she was being sexually harassed by her supervisor, Ted Slowik. Ellerth pointed out instances whein Slowik threatened to deny her of work-related benefits. She had refused all of Slowik’s sexual advances and yet had not suffered any retaliation from Slowik. She was in fact promoted once. Also, she never informed anyone of these sexual advances despite knowing of Burlington’s policy against sexual harassment. Ellerth filed a law suit alleging that Burlington engaged in sexual harassment, forcing her constructive discharge. Issue: Whether or not an employee who refused sexual advances and yet…