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Robinson v. Ergo Solutions, LLC

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

March 4, 2014

LORI ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
ERGO SOLUTIONS, LLC, Defendant

Page 172

For LORI ROBINSON, Plaintiff: Clifford G. Stewart, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, LAW OFFICE OF C. GREGORY STEWART, Newark, NJ; Samuel Bailey, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, SAMUEL BAILEY & ASSOCIATES, Washington, DC.

For ERGO SOLUTIONS, LLC, Defendant: Bernard Cecil Coleman, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICES OF BERNARD C. COLEMAN, JR, Oxon Hill, MD.

OPINION

JOHN D. BATES, United States District Judge.

Page 173

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff Lori Robinson (" Robinson" ) brings this action against her former employer, Ergo Solutions, LLC (" Ergo" ), alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). Specifically, Robinson alleges that she was sexually harassed and subjected to a hostile work environment because of her gender. The Clerk has entered a default against Ergo, due to its failure to respond to the complaint. Ergo has filed [8] a motion for default judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant the motion, issue a default judgment in favor of Robinson and against Ergo, and award damages in the amount of $20,000.

BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

Ergo " is a private health services company" with offices located in the District of Columbia. Compl. [ECF No. 1] ¶ 5. Robinson, a female citizen of Maryland,

Page 174

alleges that she was " employed at Ergo Solutions . . . at all times relevant to this lawsuit." Id. ¶ 4. She was " initially employed in the position of Outpatient Project Manager," id. ¶ 6, a position with duties that " included management of the day to day operations of Ergo Solutions staff," and " billing." Id. ¶ 7. In that role, Robinson " reported to each of the owners: Olu Ezeani, Courtland Wyatt, Jason Henderson and George Brownlee." Id.

In 2009, Robinson alleges that one of her direct supervisors (and Ergo's Chief Information Officer and partial owner), Jason Henderson, began treating her inappropriately. He made vulgar sexual remarks at work, like " I see that you haven't lost that ass." Id. ¶ 8. Robinson was " shocked" by such comments. Id. Henderson " would stare at Ms. Robinson and tell her that he always wanted her around." Id. In one notable incident, Robinson " was talking to an owner, Mr. George Brownlee about a work issue when Mr. Henderson came to where they were and inserted himself into the conversation." Id. ¶ 9. When Brownlee left, Henderson " started rubbing Ms. Robinson's legs." Id. Robinson " did not like him rubbing her legs but she felt that she had no one to complain to because he was an owner." Id. Henderson allegedly " told her that he was not going to tell anyone and that he did not want his partners to know that he was feeling up an employee." Id. Although " Robinson was upset by this encounter," she " did not file a complaint against Mr. Henderson." Id.

Soon after, Henderson's " personal advances" toward Robinson " became more intense." Id. ¶ 11. Robinson " did not know why Mr. Henderson was showering her with attention." Id. Henderson " began to call her on the weekend," and " one weekend he called her and told her that he had a dream about her and him." Id. The dream Henderson described to Robinson over the phone " was sexual." Id.

Later, Henderson asked Robinson " to come to a meeting at a hotel," where " he made advances toward Ms. Robinson and urged her to go to a room with him." Id. ¶ 12. The two of them then had sex. Id. Allegedly, " Robinson did not want to have sex with Mr. Henderson but because he was an owner she felt that she could not turn him down and maintain her position at Ergo Solutions." Id.

Robinson continued to work at Ergo, and Henderson continued to make " sexual advances toward her." Id. ¶ 15. Henderson also made vulgar remarks about others in Robinson's presence, like " that woman sure does have a big ass," in reference to someone nearby. Id. Robinson " found his comments to be humiliating and improper," and they " caused her to lose respect for Mr. Henderson." Id. During the Christmas holidays in 2009, " Henderson called Ms. Robinson on her cell phone while she was at home and indicated that he wanted to have a meeting with her." Id. ¶ 19. Robinson " asked him what the meeting was for," and Henderson responded " that he wanted to have sex with her." Id. Robinson " was disgusted," ...


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