Connecticut District Court Dismisses Postal Clerk's Sexual Harassment Suit

Postal Clerk failed to seek help through EEOC and submit claim to USPS Torts Claim Coordinator prior to filing lawsuit

According to the lawsuit: Guy Johnson, a postal clerk in North Stonington, CT. claims stem from a number of allegedly harassing incidents at work beginning in March 2007. In March and June of 2007, a supervisor, Kay Lautenheiser allegedly sexually harassed Johnson on the basis of his sexual orientation and gender. Johnson sought assistance from his supervisor William Boordsen, but Boordsen refused. In his complaint Johnson claims that in or about August 2007, Boordsen reprimanded Johnson when he discovered that Johnson had sought help through the Equal Employment Office (EEO). Around that same time Boordsen changed Johnson’s starting time for work and removed Johnson’s fan, even though he allegedly knew Johnson’s medical condition required a cool environment. Johnson then filed a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities; however, the Commission refused to review the matter, asserting that it did not have jurisdiction.

In 2008, Boordsen and Lautenheiser allegedly continued their harassing behavior by removing items Johnson needed for work, breaking his glasses, hiding his mail, making comments about his sexuality, utilizing other offensive language, and spreading false rumors about his sexuality. These actions resulted in Johnson’s suspension from work as well as loss of leave and sick time because he was unable to work.

Also in 2008, Boordsen issued an order that required Johnson to seek medical assistance . In 2009, Boordsen and Lautenheiser allegedly made numerous statements to Johnson and others that they were going to “get rid” of Johnson or get him fired. Johnson claims that as a result of this pattern of alleged harassment and intimidation he experienced several medical issues.

On July 17, 2009, Johnson , filed a complaint against his supervisor, William Boordsen , in the Superior Court for the Judicial District of New London, alleging violations of “Title VII, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA), tortious interference with contract, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and failure to supervise.” Boordsen removed the action to Connecticut District Courtt on July 27, 2009. Boordsen was then replaced as the defendant by John E. Potter, the Postmaster General,. The Postal Service submitted a request to dismiss the case.

The Postal Service argued that Johnson’s Title VII claim for employment discrimination should be dismissed because he failed to exhausted his administrative remedies.
Although Johnson’s complaint alleges that in August 2007 Boordsen reprimanded Johnson for seeking assistance through the EEO process, Johnson did not provide any evidence that he sought such assistance or when he sought such assistance. Additionally, in Johnson’s prior action against the Postal Service concerning discrimination by Boordsen and Lautenheiser, (which was dismissed on June 5, 2009) the District Judge found that Johnson had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies and dismissed Johnson’s Title VII claim against the Postal Service.

The Postal Service also argued that Johnson’s tort claims should be dismissed because none of the complaints were directed toward the Tort Claims Coordinator in St. Louis, as required under the regulations.

Therefore on December 17, 2009, the District Court dismissed the case.

6 thoughts on “Connecticut District Court Dismisses Postal Clerk's Sexual Harassment Suit

  1. You guys don’t get it! Every employee has the responsibility to know and learn their rights! This fellow didn’t exhaust the EEO process all the way! If he had filed an EEO then there would be a paper trail DUHH? Management is not above the law but you have to follow through on everything, read and know your rights period! This guy dropped his own ball by not following the regulations in regards to complaint processing. As Forest, Forest Gump said, I am not a smart man Ginny , but I can REEAAD!

  2. Yet another example of management being above the law and not having to follow the hand books and manuals. Double Standards in the Postal system is common from Sexual Harassment to Physical and mental Abuse. Postal Employees are prey to management’s misconduct and management know’s they are above the law, that is why they get away with most violations.

  3. What happened to ZERO TOLERANCE? From what I read, maybe those who received the complaints should have forwarded them to the proper people, or at least told the clerk where to submit them. Sounds like all involved did everything they could to sweep it under a rug and push as much as they could to have this clerk removed.

    From the article I read I hope this guy gets to keep his job and all the back pay and has those supervisors fired. We have an overabundance of them as it is.

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