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Dediol v. Best Chevrolet, Inc.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
655 F.3d 435 (2011)
Milan Dediol (plaintiff), a 65-year-old born-again Christian, worked as a used-car salesman for Best Chevrolet, Inc. (Best Chevrolet) (defendant). Dediol’s direct manager, Donald Clay (defendant) started harassing Dediol about one month into Dediol’s employment, after Dediol requested time off on July 4th to volunteer at church. Clay never again called Dediol by his name and instead called Dediol names like “old man,” “pops,” and “old motherf*****” up to six times each day. Clay also made several negative comments about Dediol’s religion. Dediol also claimed that Clay directed a few of Dediol’s deals to younger salespeople. Clay physically threatened Dediol several times. Dediol asked to transfer from the used-car department to the new-car department to work under a different manager. Dediol claimed that the request was preliminarily approved, but Clay prevented the transfer. Finally, after two months of negative comments and threats, Clay said he would beat up Dediol and then charged toward Dediol in front of about 10 employees. The next day, Dediol stopped coming to work, and he later told management that he could not work under the conditions Clay created. Dediol was terminated for abandoning his job. Dediol received a right-to-sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and then sued Best Chevrolet and Clay in federal court, raising age-based-hostile-work-environment, religious-harassment, constructive-discharge, and state-law-assault claims. The district court granted Best Chevrolet and Clay’s summary-judgment motion. Dediol appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)
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