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Nichols v. Azteca Restaurant Enterprises, Inc.
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
256 F.3d 864 (2001)
Antonio Sanchez (plaintiff) worked at a chain restaurant owned by Azteca Enterprises, Inc. (Azteca) (defendant) from October 1991 to July 1995. Sanchez was mocked by his male coworkers for being effeminate and not masculine. The male coworkers referred to Sanchez as “she” and “her,” said he carried a serving tray “like a woman,” and called him a “faggot” and “fucking female whore.” This verbal abuse occurred at least once a week and often several times a day. Sanchez reported the behavior to Azteca’s human-resources director, Arnie Serna, alleging that he had complained to the general manager many times and feared the harassment would continue to be ignored. A few months later, Sanchez got into a heated argument with an assistant manager. Sanchez walked off the job and was fired for leaving in the middle of his shift. Sanchez filed a lawsuit in a federal district court, alleging that he was subject to verbal harassment by male coworkers and a supervisor for being effeminate and not meeting the male stereotype and that Azteca retaliated against him by terminating him. The district court ruled for Azteca, concluding that there was no hostile work environment and that the alleged harassment did not occur because of sex. Sanchez appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gould, J.)
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