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Barry v. O'Grady

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

March 31, 2017

TERESA BARRY, Plaintiff,
JAMES P. O'GRADY, et al., Defendants.

          Terence P. Kemp Magistrate Judge



         This matter is before the Court on several motions: Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 75]; Plaintiffs Objections and Motion to Strike [ECF No. 113]; and Plaintiffs Motion for Leave to File a Third Amended Complaint [ECF No. 103]. For the following reasons, the Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED IN PART and DEND2D IN PART, Plaintiffs Objections and Motion to Strike is DENDXD AS MOOT, and Plaintiffs Motion for Leave is GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         1. Barry's Start at the FCMC

         At this stage, in which Defendants seek judgment in lieu of a trial, the Court is required to view the facts of the case in the light most favorable to Barry-the nonmoving party with respect to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. See Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970). So long as the record indicates a genuine issue of material fact, summary judgment must be denied.

         Plaintiff Teresa Barry began working at the Franklin County Municipal Court ("FCMC") in 2005. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2721 [ECF No. 97-1].) She was hired as a judicial secretary for Judges Harland Hale and Amy Salerno. (See Barry Decl. ¶ 11 [ECF No. 104].) Barry worked for Judges Hale and Salerno for nearly two years. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2734-35.)

         In February 2007, Barry was transferred to Judge Andrea Peeples's chambers on the 14th Floor of the FCMC. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2734-35. )[1]Like the other municipal court judges, Judge Peeples occupied shared chambers. (See Id. at PageID 2735.) Barry served as secretary to both judges in chambers: the fluctuating chambers mate and Judge Peeples. (See id.) Barry worked successfully, and without incident, as a judicial secretary for nearly five years. (See Id. at PageID 2736-37.) During those years, Barry received only positive comments from judges and had no complaints filed in her performance record. (See id.) In Barry's first Employee Performance Evaluation, Judge Peeples indicated that Barry met the performance standards in eight categories and exceeded the performance standard in one category. (Id. at PageID 2738.)

         2. Judge O'Grady Takes the Bench

         Barry alleges that her work environment changed dramatically in December 2011 when Defendant Judge James O'Grady took the bench and joined the chambers shared by Judge Peeples. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2742.) According to Barry, Judge O'Grady would frequently joke and laugh with his bailiff, Amy Frank, and Judge Peeple's bailiff, Joye Saunders. (See Id. at PageID 2745.) Judge O'Grady and the bailiffs would congregate near Barry's desk. (See id.) She alleges that the conversations frequently involved language that Barry considered "foul" and "demeaning to women, " including regular reference to anal sex. (Id. at PageID 2743; Barry Decl. ¶ 3 [ECF No. 104].) According to Barry, Judge O'Grady, for example, used the word "fuck" on a "regular, daily basis." (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2744.) He would, Barry reports, "maybe walk off the bench and say, that guy was a fucking idiot, or she's a fucking idiot." (Id. at PageID 2744-45.) And he would, at times, use the word "bitch" when referring to women. (Id. at PageID 2746.) Judge O'Grady once commented that an attorney was "smoking hot"; he then mused: "if I wasn't married." (Id. at PageID 2744.) Judge O'Grady would also "reference attire, short skirts, things like that." (Id.) Although Barry regularly heard Judge O'Grady's comments, the comments were not directed at Barry. (Id. at PageID 2746.) According to Barry, Judge O'Grady was purportedly interested in whom Barry was dating: "He would ask if [she] had a date that weekend, where [they] went, did [they] have drinks, and [was she] going to see him again." (Id.)

         Barry points to Judge O'Grady's actions toward Tracy Barnes, an employee in the assignment office, as an example of Judge O'Grady's demeaning conduct toward women. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2747.) Barnes submitted a writing sample as part of an application for a promotion. (Id.) Judge O'Grady opposed Barnes's promotion. (Id.) After reviewing her writing sample, he commented to his bailiff: "Look at this.... Look, she can't even form a fucking sentence." (Id.) After Barnes failed to get the promotion, Judge O'Grady laughed and said, "Do you think Tracy hates me now?" (Id.)

         Barry also identifies several instances where Saunders read excerpts aloud from Fifty Shades of Grey in chambers during work hours. (Barry Dep. Part 2 at PageID 3101-02 [ECF No. 102].) Saunders would read excerpts of the sex acts in the book to Frank and Judge O'Grady; the three of them would then share a laugh. (Id. at PageID 3102.)

         3. Description of a Female Attorney

         According to Barry, the incident that most disturbed her was a sexually explicit conversation between Judge O'Grady and the bailiffs on November 14, 2012. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2776.) The conversation revolved around the alleged sexual exploits of a female attorney practicing before the municipal court. (Id.) According to Barry, bailiff Frank did most of the talking. She described to Saunders and Judge O'Grady how the female attorney was seeing a male attorney. (Id.) The male attorney purportedly got "his whole down-below waxed, his balls, everything, " and the female attorney, as relayed by Frank, would "lick[] him like a lap dog." (Id. at PageID 2776-77.) Frank then related that the same female attorney supposedly had sex with the male attorney and also with a second male attorney on the same day. (Id. at PageID 2777.) At some point in the conversation, Saunders brought up anal sex. (Id. at PageID 2778.) Saunders joked that it "was an exit only, and nothing entered in." (Id.) Judge O'Grady also contributed to the gossip. (Id.) He remarked about the female attorney "being good at what she does." (Id.) After laughing about the attorney's sex life, Judge O'Grady and the bailiffs joked about the same attorney's conviction on three impaired driving charges. (Id. at PageID 2779.)

         After listening to Judge O'Grady and the bailiffs, Barry decided to act. She sent a private Facebook message to the female attorney that same evening. (Barry Dep, Part 1 at PageID 2782.) In the message, Barry informed the attorney that she might want to be more careful with what she talks about with respect to her personal life. (Id. at PageID 2783.) The attorney responded with concern; she indicated that she would come in to see Barry the next day. (Id. at PageID 2783-84.)

         That same evening, Barry also made a posting on Facebook to her friends. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2786-88.) She posted:

I spent this afternoon getting sick from my co workers talking horrible about there friends and mine. It all came down to being jealous. The men and women are hot and the people especially women are je[a]lous pigs. Can u imagine thinking someone was ur friend and that bitch u thought was xlur friend ran her mouth. U know what. Get in shape and stop eating and drinking and u could have her life. As far as the others chiming in ur just miserable. So she has a great sex life. So do I... women are judged by beauty more from jealous women than anyone. Oh one last thing the one wom[a]n that chimes in alot prayed and bowed her head to pray. I guarantee u she is not in his plan.

(Barry Facebook Post at PageID 657 [ECF No. 75-11].) At her deposition, Barry decoded this post. The "hot" men and women she referenced were the attorneys referenced above. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2789.) The "miserable" people chiming in were Frank, Saunders, and Judge O'Grady. (Id. at 2790.) And the woman who bowed her head to pray was Saunders. (Id. at PageID 2792.)

         The next day, November 15, 2012, the female attorney came to chambers and spoke with Barry. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2797.) The conversation was brief. Barry informed the attorney that Frank, Saunders, and Judge O'Grady had talked about her sex life and her OVIs. (Id. at PageID 2800-01.) Barry then advised her: "be careful what you tell people because, you know, it gets around and it can be embarrassing and people talking about you." (Id. at PageID 2798.) After the conversation with Barry, the female attorney walked into Judge O'Grady's office and shut the door. (Id. at PageID 2798-99.) The attorney was in Judge O'Grady's office for 10 to 15 minutes. (Id. at PageID 2799.) The attorney left and then Judge O'Grady eventually walked out of his office to take the bench. (Id.) His face "was beet red" and, according to Barry, he looked at her "like he probably wanted to kill [her]." (Id.) At one point that day, he stated that he wished he could fire somebody. (See Barry Dep. Part 2 at PageID 3063 [ECF No. 102].)

         In the grievance she submitted to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC"), and in her deposition, Barry expressed disbelief that the attorney would speak to Judge O'Grady. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2799-801; ODC Compl. at PageID 596 [ECF No. 75-7].)[2] As Barry explained: "I was trying to give her a heads-up that people were talking about her, and she decided on her own to go talk to Judge O'Grady.... [J]f that was me, I wouldn't have done that." (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2800.)

         Following the incident, Judge O'Grady was angry and hostile toward Barry. (Barry Dep. Part 2 at PageID 3063.) Barry was on medical leave from November 28, 2012, through January 4, 2013. (See FCMC Time Clock at PageID 2687 [ECF No. 96-3].) According to Barry, Judge O'Grady's hostility continued after Barry returned from leave. He told Barry, for example, that she needed to take her daughter's picture off her computer's screen-saver. (Barry Dep. Part 2 at PageID 3063.)

         4. The April 18 Employee Performance Evaluation

         Barry received an Employee Performance Evaluation on April 18, 2013. Present at the evaluation meeting were Barry, Abbie Arrnitage (the FCMC Human Resources Manager), and Judges O'Grady and Peeples. (See Arrnitage Dep. at PageID 786 [ECF No. 76-1].) Judge O'Grady wrote the evaluation and did most of the speaking at the meeting. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2741-42; O'Grady Dep. at PageID 1409-17 [ECF No. 79-1].) As Barry recalls the meeting, Judge O'Grady was hostile and angry toward her. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2816.) The evaluation contained nine performance competencies (i.e., areas of performance); in three of those categories, Judge O'Grady gave Barry a "Needs Improvement" rating. (Apr. 18, 2013 Evaluation at PageID 2600-04 [ECF No. 91-1]; see O'Grady Dep. at PageID 1409-17.) One of Barry's "Needs Improvement" ratings was actually determined during the meeting. For the "Adaptability/Flexibility" category, Judge O'Grady initially gave Barry a rating of "Meets Standards." (O'Grady Dep. at PageID 1415-16.) During the course of the meeting, however, Judge O'Grady downgraded her rating to "Needs Improvement." (See id.) He added written comments under the category as well. He wrote: "[m]ore accountability for own work problems" and "[a]ccept criticism better." (Id. at PageID 1416-17.)

         Barry prepared a written response to her evaluation after the April 18 meeting. In her response, Barry challenged her "Needs Improvement" ratings. (Resp. to Evaluation at PageID 2605-06 [ECF No. 91-2].) She also challenged some of the ratings that were listed as "Meets Standards" but, according to Barry, should have been listed as "Exceed[s] Standards." (Id.) Barry also mentioned in the response that Judge O'Grady "never produces work and is constantly sitting in the chair by my desk laughing and joking and making rude comments about people and using foul language." (Id. at PageID 2606.) She noted that Judge O'Grady only starting picking on her performance after the incident involving the female attorney-which Barry did not describe in the response. (Id. at PageID 2605-06.) She provided the response to Armitage sometime after May 7. (See Armitage Dep. at PageID 833-37 [ECF No. 76-1]; Armitage Errata Sheet at PageID 979-80 [ECF No. 76-3].)

         5. The May 7 Telephone Conversation with Shaw

         Barry called Defendant Emily Shaw, the FCMC Administrator, on May 7, 2013, to report the events in chambers that purportedly explain why she received "Needs Improvement" ratings on her April 18 performance evaluation. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2821-28 [ECF No. 97-1]; Shaw Notes at PageID 2626 [ECF No. 91-9].) Barry complained that Judge O'Grady was retaliating against her through the performance evaluation. (See Shaw Dep. at PageID 1744-45, 1768-69 [ECF No. 81-1].) Barry explained the circumstances surrounding the incident with the attorney and then described the other conduct (discussed above) of Frank, Saunders, and Judge O' Grady that contributed to the sexual harassment she allegedly suffered and the purported hostile work environment in chambers. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2821-28; Shaw Dep. at PageID 1785; Shaw Notes at PageID 2626-28.) Barry indicated that she enjoyed working with Judge Peeples and, therefore, did not want to switch chambers. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2821-28; Shaw Notes at PageID 2628.) Barry concluded by requesting that the court mediate the situation. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2821-28; Shaw Notes at PageID 2628.)

         Shaw typed up her notes to memorialize her conversation with Barry. (See Shaw Notes at PageID 2626.) She then communicated Barry's accusations to Armitage and Defendant Judges James Green and Carrie Glaeden. (See Shaw Dep. at PageID 1766, 1773-80, 1800-01.) Judge Green was the Administrative Judge at the time. (See Green Dep. at PageID 1210 [ECF No. 78- 1].) And Judge Glaeden was the Chair of the FCMC's Personnel Committee. (See Glaeden Dep. at PageID 1057-58 [ECF No. 77-1].) Shaw corresponded with Armitage and the judges from May 7 through May 10, 2013. (See id.) Through her correspondence, Shaw drafted and, on May 10, sent a letter to Barry:

The Court takes very seriously the allegations you made during your May 7, 2013 phone conversation with Court Administrator, Emily Shaw. Based on the nature of your complaint, the Court will immediately follow the reporting procedures outlined in Court Policy 03.01 regarding Equal Opportunity and Sexual Harassment (copy attached). Until those matters have been resolved, the Court will take measures to limit all interaction between you and Judge O 'Grady. That would be accomplished by relocating you to another Judges' or Magistrates' chambers while this investigation is pending. In doing so, you will not perform secretarial services or any other work for or in the chambers or courtroom of Judge O'Grady under any circumstances. Further, both you and Judge O'Grady should make efforts to avoid contact.
This Court is making every effort to ensure that this matter is addressed in an impartial, complete, and accurate manner. Therefore, please refrain from discussing this matter with employees or others who work in the Courthouse. If any judge or employee attempts to discuss this matter with you, please report that in writing to me immediately.

(May 10, 2013 Shaw Ltr. to Barry at PageID 2607 [ECF No. 91-3].) Barry was placed on administrative leave until she could be placed in the chambers of another judge or magistrate. (See Shaw Dep. at PageID 1801, 1809-10 [ECF No. 81-1].)

         Barry's administrative leave corresponded, to some extent, with her medical leave. Beginning in May 2013, and continuing through 2014, Barry began taking leave intermittently to address what her physician described as depression due to work-related stress. (See Armitage Dep. at PageID 963-65 [ECF No. 76-1].)

         Not long after Shaw and Barry's telephone conversation, Shaw and Judges Green and Glaeden informed Judge O'Grady that Barry had filed a complaint against him. (O'Grady Dep. at PageID 1420-22 [ECF No. 79-1].) Judge O'Grady later reviewed Shaw's letter to Barry; from reading the letter and meeting with Shaw and Judges Green and Glaeden, Judge O'Grady understood that he was not to have any contact with Barry during the pendency of the investigation. (Id. at PageID 1422-26.)

         In the spring of 2013, Armitage began preparing a timeline of events relating to Barry's accusations against Judge O'Grady and work performance. (See Armitage Dep. at PageID 774-76, 841.) In the timeline, Armitage also took note of Barry's attendance. (Id. at PageID 842-43.) Armitage observed, for example, that Barry called off work on May 7, 2013. (Id. at PageID 842.) And on May 9, 2013, Armitage noted that Barry left work early without permission. (Id. at PageID 842-43.)

         Shaw was watching Barry's work attendance too. (See May 23, 2013 Shaw Email to Armitage at PageID 2704 [ECF No. 96-11].) In June 2013, for example, Shaw emailed Armitage with the subject line "Teresa Barry Reporting Requirements 6.11.13"; Shaw advised Armitage that "the judges want her written up but I think we're at a verbal since there is nothing in file and I'm also not sure that a work improvement plan exists or has been presented to her yet." (June 12, 2013 Shaw Email to Armitage at PageID 2705 [ECF No. 96-12].)

         6. The July 2 Meeting and the WIP

         On July 2, 2013, upon her return from a period of leave, Barry met with Armitage and Judge Glaeden. (Armitage Dep. at PageID 830-31, 865 [ECF No. 76-1].) Armitage and Judge Glaeden had prepared a Work Improvement Plan ("WIP") for Barry, which they gave to her during the July 2 meeting. (Id.) A WIP is mandated whenever an employee's performance evaluation contains a "Needs Improvement" rating-a fact that Judge O'Grady likely knew when he completed Barry's performance evaluation. (See Armitage Dep. at PageID 809, 823-26.) An employee's failure to meet the requirements of a WIP could result in termination. (July 2, 2013 WIP at PageID 2613 [ECF No. 91-4].)

         Armitage and Judge Glaeden placed Barry on a WIP despite their knowledge that Barry was accusing Judge O'Grady of giving her a "Needs Improvement" rating in retaliation for her speaking with the female attorney. (See Armitage Dep. at PageID 835, 865-66; Glaeden Dep. at PageID 1057-58 [ECF No. 77-1].) Barry's retaliation accusation had not been investigated by the FCMC administration (i.e., Shaw and Armitage) when Barry received her WIP. (See Armitage Dep. at PageID 866-67.) Rather, without an investigation into Barry's accusation, the FCMC administration accepted the accuracy of the performance ratings Barry received from Judge O'Grady. (See Armitage Dep. at PageID 866-68; Glaeden Dep. at PageID 1098.)

         The FCMC administration did not conduct an investigation into Barry's accusation that Judge O'Grady retaliated against her. (See Armitage Dep. at PageID 866-67; Shaw Dep. at PageID 1778-80, 1805-06, 1809-14 [ECF No. 81-1].) Nor did the FCMC administration conduct its own investigation into Barry's sexual harassment allegations against Frank, Saunders, and Judge O'Grady. (See Shaw Dep. at PageID 1771-72, 1805-06, 1809-18.)

         As Shaw stated in her May 10, 2013 letter, because Barry's accusations against Judge O'Grady fell within the court's sexual harassment policy, Administrative Judge Green was obligated to report the accusations to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. (See May 10, 2013 Shaw Ltr. to Barry at PageID 2607 [ECF No. 91-3]; FCMC Employee Handbook at PageID 2611 [ECF No. 91-3].) As Judge Glaeden acknowledged, the ODC reporting requirement does not preclude the FCMC from conducting its own inquiries into a judge's behavior. (Glaeden Dep. at PageID 1035 [ECF No. 77-1].) No investigation occurred, moreover, despite the court's obligation, under its sexual harassment policy (Policy Number 3.01), to promptly investigate harassment charges lodged against FCMC staff-including court bailiffs like Frank and Saunders. (FCMC Employee Handbook at PageID 2610-11.)

         During the July 2 meeting, Armitage and Judge Glaeden asked Barry if she had checked on the status of the complaint (i.e., grievance) that Judge Green was supposed to have filed with the ODC. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2849 [ECF No. 97-1]; Glaeden Dep. at PageID 1102 [ECF No. 77-1].) Barry later spoke with Judge Green; she asked if he had communicated her concerns about Judge O'Grady to the ODC. (Green Dep. at PageID 1276-77 [ECF No. 78-1].)

         Judge Green had, in fact, called the ODC within 24 hours of learning about Barry's concerns regarding Judge O'Grady. (Green Dep. at PageID 1278.) He relayed those concerns to Joseph Caligiuri. (Id. at PageID 1276.) Following up on the ODC grievance after speaking with Barry in early July, Judge Green learned from Caligiuri that the ODC had "dropped the ball" on processing the grievance against Judge O'Grady but that the ODC would now follow up on it. (Id. at PageID 1277.) Judge Green explained this mix-up to Barry and provided her with information on how to contact the ODC. (Id.)

         After her conversation with Judge Green, Barry drafted a grievance and then, and July 3, delivered it to the ODC. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 61-62; ODC Compl. at PageID 595 [ECF No. 75-7].) In her grievance, Barry discussed Judge O'Grady's foul language, the incident with the attorney, the April 18, 2013 Employee Performance Evaluation, and her relocation to the magistrate chambers described below. (ODC Compl. at PageID 595-99.)

         7. The Transfer to the Magistrate Chambers

         Also, during the July 2 meeting, Judge Glaeden informed Barry that she would be temporarily assigned to work on the 11th Floor of the FCMC as a secretary to Magistrates Tony Paat and David Jump. (Glaeden Dep. at PageID 1117-18.) Shaw made this reassignment determination. (See Armitage Dep. at PageID 863-64; Glaeden Dep. at PageID 1117-18; Shaw Dep. at PageID 1890.) She arranged for a secretary swap: Barry would move to the Magistrates' chambers and the Magistrates' secretary would move to the 14th Floor to work with Judges O'Grady and Peeples. (See Shaw Dep. at PageID 1890.) Under Barry's WIP, Magistrates Paat and Jump were tasked with monitoring Barry's performance progress and issuing a 90 day evaluation. (July 2, 2013 WIP at PageID 2613 [ECF No. 91-4].)

         Barry initially resisted moving to the 11th Floor to work with the Magistrates. (June 28, 2013 Shaw Email to Armitage at PageID 3173 [ECF No. 107-3].) She wanted to work in a judge's chambers. (Id.) Shaw informed her, however, that "there were no judges that wanted to make that switch and that we couldn't force it upon them." (Id.) Whether Shaw actually asked the body of FCMC judges if they were willing to switch secretaries is uncertain: Judges Green testified during his deposition that he does not believe the question was presented to the judges. (Green Dep. at PageID 1273-74 [ECF No. 78-1].)

         Barry "loved her assignment with the magistrates." (Resp. to Mot. for Sirarai. J. at 38 [ECF No. 108]; see Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2857.) Barry disliked, however, having to occasionally "buzz" Judge O'Grady into the magistrate chambers. (See Barry Dep. Part 2 at PageID 3067-68 [ECF No. 102].) Part of Barry's job on the 11th Floor was to monitor a video screen that displayed a video feed of a locked entrance to chambers. (Barry Decl. at 2 [ECF No. 104].) When visitors pressed a buzzer at the entrance, Barry would push a button to unlock the door. (See id.) On several occasions, Judge O'Grady showed up at the entrance to the magistrates chambers and pushed the buzzer. (Barry Dep. Part 2 at PageID 3067-68.) Barry would buzz him into chambers and Judge O'Grady would, while whistling, walk slowly by and glance at Barry through a glass wall. (Id. at PageID 3068-69.) Barry also had to occasionally buzz Saunders into the magistrate chambers. (Barry Decl. at 2.) Unlike Judge O'Grady, who simply walked by, Saunders would enter the area where Barry was seated and chat with one of the bailiffs. (Id.)

         Barry asserts that Judge O'Grady could have avoided her, as he was obligated to do under the May 10 letter, by (a) using a separate, public entrance to chambers or by (b) using his swipe card, rather than the buzzer, to enter the door monitored by Barry. (Barry Decl. at 2.) And Barry further asserts that, prior to her arrival on the 11th Floor, Judge O'Grady did not visit the magistrate chambers. (Barry Dep. Part 2 at PageID 3070.)

         Barry reached out to Shaw for help with Judge O'Grady's 11th Floor visits. (See Sept. 6, 2013 Barry Email to Shaw at PageID 2617 [ECF No. 91-6].) Shaw informed Judge Green about the visits. (See Shaw Dep. at PageID 1917 [ECF No. 81-1].) Shaw did not, however, ask him to speak with Judge O'Grady. (Id.) Shaw also spoke with Administrative Magistrate Graham about Judge O'Grady's trips to the 11th Floor. (Id. at PageID 1921.) Shaw checked with Graham to see whether, to her knowledge, Judge O'Grady had been speaking with any magistrates about Barry's application to work as a magistrate's bailiff. (Id. at PageID 1921-22.) Shaw did not speak with Magistrates Paat and Jump about the visits. (See Id. at PageID 1923.) Nor did Shaw speak with Judge O'Grady about the visits. (See O'Grady Dep. at PageID 1444 [ECF No. 79-1].)

         Barry reached out to Holly Gleason, the Assistant FCMC Administrator, about Judge O'Grady's visits too. (Shaw Dep. at PageID 1919-20.) Gleason conveyed Barry's concerns to Shaw. (Id. at PageID 1920.) And Shaw, in turn, emailed Barry on September 24, 2013; she reassured Barry that the "Court Administration [was] taking many efforts to limit the interaction between [her and Judge O'Grady]." (Sept. 24, 2013 Shaw Email to Barry at PageID 2618 [ECF No. 91-7].) Shaw also indicated that it would be difficult to speculate about Judge O'Grady's and Saunders's motives for being on the 11th Floor. (Id.)

         8. The Transfer to the SRO Position

         On September 25, 2013, one day after Shaw and Barry corresponded about Judge O'Grady's appearances on the 11th Floor, Shaw and Armitage informed Barry that there was an opening as a Support Relief Officer ("SRO") in the FCMC's probation department. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2866.) They told Barry that the position would be a great fresh start for her and an opportunity to distance herself from Judge O'Grady. (Id. at PageID 2867.) Shaw and Armitage were, in fact, trying to procure a new position for Barry. (See Id. at PageID 2860-61; Shaw Dep. at PageID 1981-82.). They informed Barry that the Magistrates' secretary, Lori Banfield, [3] was returning to the 11th Floor; Barry could not return to being a judicial secretary though because, Shaw and Armitage explained, no judge was willing to trade or switch secretaries. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2860-61; Shaw Dep. at PageID 1981-82.)

         Barry expressed interest in assuming the SRO position. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2867-68; Barry Timeline at PageID 3175 [ECF No. 107-4]; Shaw Dep. at PageID 1931, 1935, 1945.) Barry has since testified, though, to feeling like she had no choice in the matter given that Banfield was returning to her position with the Magistrates-the position that Barry was temporarily filling. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2860-61, 2879.) Shaw and Armitage informed Barry that she would begin her new position as an SRO in two weeks. (See Barry Timeline at PageID 3175.)

         Two days later, on September 27, 2013, Armitage came to Barry's workstation on the 11th Floor and informed her that she was needed in the probation department immediately-not in two weeks. (See Barry Timeline at PageID 3176.) Armitage admitted that she had been confused about the timeframe of Barry's move to probation. (Id., )

         After speaking with Armitage, Barry visited the probation department to speak with her soon-to-be supervisor, Beverly Sullivan. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2875.) Concerned about the new position, Barry also met with Defendant Michael Roth, the Chief Probation Officer. (Id.) Roth reassured her that the probation department was "growing [by] leaps and bounds" and that she was needed there. (Id.) Still concerned, Barry met with Shaw. Shaw reiterated Roth's assertion that Barry was needed immediately in the SRO position. (See Id. at PageID 2875-76.)

         That same day-September 27-Barry's secretarial position with Judges Peeples and O'Grady was posted as open. (Job Posting at PageID 2619-21 [ECF No. 91-8].) Also around that same period of time, Magistrates Paat and Jump wrote their evaluation of Barry's performance. (Magistrate Evaluation at PageID 2678 [ECF No. 96-1].) They assigned her a "Meets Standards/Fully Competent" rating in nine performance competencies, and they complimented her work, noting that "she completed her duties timely and in a professional manner." (Id. at PageID 2678-82.)

         Barry's transfer to the SRO position in the probation department was approved through a Personnel Action Form. (See Personnel Action Form at PageID 2391 [ECF No. 83-10].) The form was signed by eight judges, including Judges Glaeden, Green, and O'Grady. (Id.)

         9. Barry's Experience in the Probation Department

         Barry began in the probation department on September 30, 2013. (See Barry Timeline at PageID 3176.) Although Barry was supposed to be assuming an SRO position, Sullivan was under the impression that Barry would be working as a receptionist. (See Sullivan Dep. at PageID 2167-68 [ECF No. 82-1].) The SRO position that Barry would be filling had been empty for nearly seven months-since the termination of the individual who formerly occupied the position, Susan Taylor. (See Sullivan Dep. at PageID 2175-76 [ECF No. 82-1].) And Roth had informed Sullivan after Taylor's termination that the SRO position would not be filled. (Id.) Only weeks later, after Barry asked Sullivan about her training, did Sullivan realize that Barry was supposed to be working as an SRO. (See Ceneskie Decl. at PageID 2647 [ECF No. 92-1]; Sullivan Dep. at PageID 2169, 2179.)

         According to Sullivan, an SRO's duties include, among other things, completing mail runs, helping with intakes, purging old records, and filling in on the telephone switchboard and reception desk, when needed. (See Sullivan Dep. at PageID 2198.) Barry did not experience a reduction in pay when she moved to the probation department. (Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2880.) The SRO position, however, has a lower pay classification than a judicial secretary position, meaning that Barry's opportunities for a pay increase were limited compared to those of < a judicial secretary. (Shaw Dep. at PageID 1725.) The SRO position, moreover, involved a different, and less pleasant, work environment than what Barry had grown accustomed to as a judicial and magistrate secretary. (See Barry Dep. Part 1 at PageID 2887-88.) From Barry's perspective, "the entire [probation] department was filthy": "There was one individual in there that had a problem with hygiene and she had soiled a couple chairs.... The bathroom was filthy. That's where they did the urine test. I was not used to that atmosphere." (Id.)

         As of September 2013, there were four SROs, including Barry, in the probation department. "Almost from the start, " Michelle Ceneskie, a fellow SRO, observed that "things were not normal with [Barry's] assignment":

There were two receptionist positions, and both were filled. Yet, [Barry] did nothing for weeks and weeks but sit with the receptionists[T]here did not appear to be a need for any assistant to those officers ...;
. . . . .
Not long after [Barry] was in reception, she began to question when she would be trained as a support relief officer ["SRO"]. Up to that point, we SRO[s] had thought she was a receptionist;
It was about two months[] after she came to Probation that Shirley Thompson actually began training [Barry] on SRO duties. However, for many more weeks, [Barry] did nothing except purg[e] files to make ...

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