may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
IMI Cornelius, Inc.,
Filed June 1, 1999
Anoka County District Court
File No. C9979638
Sheila Ketelsen Dokken, Eric D. Satre, Connor, Satre, & Schaff, L.L.P., 580 Lumber Exchange Building, 10 South Fifth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for appellant)
Marko J. Mrkonich, Heidi E. Kapacinskas, Littler Mendelson, P.C., Suite 3970 Multifoods Tower, 33 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Short, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and Shumaker, Judge.
After allegedly being harassed in the workplace by her supervisor, Jody Gilbert sued her employer, IMI Cornelius, Inc. (Cornelius), for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and reprisal under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. On appeal, Gilbert argues the trial court erred in summarily dismissing her claims. We affirm.
Although the supervisor's behavior may have been unwelcome sexual harassment, Gilbert did not complain to Cornelius about this behavior until four years after its commencement, or provide Cornelius with a written statement of the harassment until three months after Cornelius requested it. Moreover, before Gilbert voiced her complaints, Cornelius posted, distributed, and maintained anti-discrimination policies that defined a reporting method that could circumvent a supervisor, and provided harassment training sessions for employees and management. Once notified, Cornelius took prompt and timely action in response to the behavior by: (1) immediately telling Gilbert's supervisor to cease the offensive behavior; (2) giving the supervisor another copy of Cornelius's anti-discrimination policy; and (3) conducting an investigation and interviewing witnesses over a two-month period after receiving Gilbert's written statement.
Given these undisputed facts, Gilbert has not shown that Cornelius knew or should have known about the harassment, or that it failed to take prompt corrective action. See Cummings, 568 N.W.2d at 424 (noting employer is not strictly liable for harassment perpetrated by supervisor unless employer knew or should have known of harassment and employer failed to take action); cf. Burlington Indus., Inc. v. Ellerth, ___ U.S. ___, ___, 118 S. Ct. 2257, 2270 (1998) (holding employer is not liable when no tangible adverse employment action occurred, employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct harassing behavior, and employee failed to use employer's procedures to safeguard against harassment). Under these circumstances, the trial court properly dismissed Gilbert's sexual harassment claim against Cornelius as a matter of law.