United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Andriano brought this action against her former employers,
Tyson Foods, Inc., and Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. (collectively
“Tyson”), alleging that Tyson violated federal
law during her employment. (Doc. No. 1.) Before the Court is
Tyson's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. No. 27.) For
the following reasons, Tyson's motion is DENIED.
October 15, 2013, Andriano began working at Tyson's plant
located in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, as an Occupational
Health Nurse. (Doc. No. 38 at 1.) She directly reported to
Simona Thomas, and overall they had a good relationship.
(Id. at 2.) Andriano also worked closely with Audrey
Cooper, an employee in Tyson's Human Resources
Department. (Id. at 1.)
Tyson's Harassment Policy
has a Harassment and Discrimination Policy (the
“Harassment Policy”), which Andriano received on
October 18, 2013. (Id. at 2; Doc. No. 30-2 at 68.)
The policy requires that “[a]ll
harassment/discrimination must be reported
immediately.” (Doc. No. 30-2 at 64.) It allows a
complainant to report harassment or discrimination by
contacting her supervisor and/or her local Human Resources
Manager, a Senior Location Management Official, the Director
of Human Resources Operations, the Employment Compliance
Department, or the “Tell Tyson First” telephone
line. (Id. at 66.) The person reporting the
harassment will be asked to complete a Complaint Form, but
the Complaint Form is not required to initiate an
investigation. (Id.) A certified “harassment
investigator” will investigate the harassment or
discrimination complaint. (Id.) Any retaliation
against an employee who reports harassment or discrimination
is forbidden, and a supervisor who is found to have
retaliated against a complainant will be disciplined.
(Id. at 65.)
November 2013, shortly after beginning work at Tyson,
Andriano participated in a meeting with plant personnel to
investigate an employee injury. (Doc. No. 37-2 at 12.) During
this meeting, James Ewing, a general supervisor
(id.), told Andriano that he wanted to “see
how far [he] could get with [her].” (Doc. No. 38 at 3.)
Steve Ligon, the safety manager (Doc. No. 37-2 at 11),
instructed Ewing to stop. (Doc. No. 38 at 3.) Andriano
reported the incident to Thomas, who reported it to Cooper.
(Id.; Doc. No. 42 at 3.) Andriano was not aware of
any subsequent investigation into Ewing's behavior. (Doc.
No. 38 at 3.) Cooper does not remember whether there was an
investigation, but believes there may have been. (Doc. No.
37-2 at 33.) Ewing apologized to Andriano, and Cooper
believes Tyson retrained Ewing on the Harassment Policy, but
she cannot remember for certain. (Doc. No. 37-2 at 33; Doc.
No. 38 at 3-4.) Ewing did not make any further inappropriate
comments. (Doc. No. 38 at 3.)
the start of Andriano's employment, Driton Gashi, a
coworker, brought her candy at least twice per week.
(Id. at 5.) Gashi would often visit the Health
Services office to talk with her. (Id. at 6.) Gashi
also frequently stared at Andriano in the hallway.
(Id.) Initially, Gashi's behavior did not bother
Andriano. (Id. at 5-6.)
February 2014, Andriano's perception of Gashi's
behavior began to change. Gashi began asking Andriano to
dinner whenever he visited Health Services. (Id. at
5.) He also started making “kissy noises” when he
entered Health Services. (Id. at 6.) When Gashi
shook Andriano's hand, he would hold it for longer than
the normal length of a handshake, “maybe a couple of
seconds.” (Id.) At this point, Gashi's
previous and ongoing behavior of bringing Andriano candy,
visiting her frequently, and staring at her in the hallway
began to make Andriano uncomfortable. (Id. at 5-6.)
Andriano asked Gashi to stop every time he made her
uncomfortable, but he did not stop. (Doc. No. 42 at 6.)
reported Gashi's behavior to Jetton Gashi, a supervisor
and Gashi's brother, at least twice. (Id.) She
also reported Gashi's conduct to Thomas at least once per
week beginning in February 2014 until Thomas took a leave of
absence. (Id. at 7.) Thomas told Andriano
that Gashi is “harmless, ” and the office is a
“safe space.” (Id.) Thomas advised
Andriano not to report her complaints to Human Resources.
(Id. at 8.)
April 10, 2014, Gashi entered the Health Services office and
asked Andriano if she was alone. (Id.) Gashi asked
Andriano to go to dinner with him and grabbed her hand.
(Id.; Doc. No. 38 at 7.) Andriano protested, but
Gashi would not let go of her hand. (Doc. No. 38 at 7.)
Andriano ran, and Gashi chased her through the nurses'
office. (Doc. No. 42 at 8.) Andriano locked herself in her
office and Gashi continually tried to open her door.
(Id.) Andriano used her radio to announce to her
supervisors that she locked herself in her office “for
security reasons.” (Id.) Ewing came to
Andriano's office to investigate. (Id.)
night, Andriano left a message for Thomas regarding
Gashi's conduct, and then reported Gashi's conduct to
Thomas in person the next day. (Id. at 10.) Thomas
told Andriano that they could not report the incident to
Human Resources because Andriano previously had reported
Ewing's harassment, and Human Resources would not like a
second complaint. (Id.) Rather, Thomas said she
would speak to Gashi's supervisor to ensure that Gashi
did not return to harass Andriano. (Id. at 11.)
Thomas sent Steve Voller, Gashi's supervisor, an email
requesting that Gashi avoid socializing with Health Services
employees during work ...