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Sexual Harassment Requiring Femail Receptionist To Serve Coffee To Male Workers Not Grounds For Sex

A United States District Court has ruled that a female receptionist who was fired from her job after refusing to get coffee for the men in her office cannot sustain a lawsuit for sexual harassment or retaliation. The judge ruled that there is nothing sexist about requiring workers to serve coffee and that the act of getting coffee is not by itself a gender-specific act.

The Plaintiff was a part-time receptionist who initially complied with the requests to bring coffee to male coworkers as part of her job as a receptionist even though she found the requests to be demeaning and embarrassing. Plaintiff later refused to comply with orders to bring coffee for male co-workers but agreed that she would do so for guests. In her e-mail , she said that she not "serve and wait on you [male co-workers] by making coffee and serving you." Her employer, claiming that her e-mail was the straw that broke the camel’s back, fired her. The judge dismissed her entire case of sex harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination on the basis that she could not prove that she was subjected to demeaning treatment due to her sex and was not a victim of sexual advances. Tamara Klopfenstein v. National Sales and Supply, LLC. No. 07-4004. (June 5, 2008) [Read the entire court ruling].

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