Louise Hoy worked at Shop-Rite as a meat-wrapper. During her tenure there, Dominick Angelone repeatedly subjected her to sexual propositions, filthy language, off-color jokes, physical groping, and the posting of sexually suggestive pictures in the workplace. Eventually Hoy took medical leave to receive psychiatric treatment; when she returned, she requested that the store manager move her to another department. In order to recover under a hostile environment claim, the employee must prove that (1) she suffered intentional sex discrimination because of her sex; (2) the discrimination was pervasive and regular; (3) the discrimination detrimentally affected the employee; (4) the discrimination would detrimentally affect a reasonable person of the same sex in that position; and (5) the existence of respondeat superior liability. Hoy established the first four elements but Shop-Rite argued that it could not be liable under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act for Angelone’s conduct because it did not know nor had reason to know of the existence of a sexually hostile environment, and it took remedial action. A plaintiff may establish an employer’s knowledge by showing (i) that she complained to higher management or (ii) that the harassment was so pervasive that the employer will be charged with constructive knowledge. The court upheld the jury’s finding that the store manager knew or should have been aware of the conduct before Hoy requested transfer out of the meat department and failed to take remedial action; indeed, the conduct was so pervasive that several of Hoy’s coworkers knew of the abuse. Thus, Shop-Rite was liable for Angelone’s conduct because the manager failed to take remedial action despite this knowledge.
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