from the Ohio Court of Claims Ct. of Cl. No. 2016-00171
Law Firm, and David L. Engler, for appellant.
Michael DeWine, Attorney General, Eric A. Walker, and Stacy
Hannan, for appellee.
1} Plaintiff-appellant, Anne Eschborn, appeals the
judgment of the Ohio Court of Claims granting Civ.R. 56(C)
summary judgment to defendant-appellee, Ohio Department of
Transportation ("ODOT"), in an R.C. 4112.01, et
seq. gender discrimination lawsuit against the state. The
Court of Claims held that Eschborn could not meet her burden
of proof of her prima facie case of discrimination. For the
reasons that follow, we reverse.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
2} Eschborn began working at ODOT as an
unclassified, seasonal Highway Tech 1 employee on January 12,
2015. ODOT terminated her employment on February 12, 2015.
During her one-month tenure with ODOT, Eschborn's work
was assigned by ODOT staff at the Gustavus post and in her
role as a Highway Tech 1 she worked alongside three male
employees. Eschborn operated a truck that plowed snow and
spread salt on the roads within ODOT's jurisdiction,
patched potholes, "flagged, " washed trucks, and
swept the truck bays. (Eschborn Dep. at 7.) While she worked
for ODOT, she was the only female employee at the Gustavus
3} Eschborn contends that ODOT gave multiple reasons
for her termination. Initially, she was told it was due to
lack of work. After her termination, however, Eschborn
received a letter from ODOTs director stating she had been
terminated for not performing up to the standards expected of
the position. Additionally, she was told she was terminated
for her alleged use of foul language and sexual harassment.
4} Eschborn admits that she was "making a
joke" when she said to her coworkers that her former
boss did not listen to her, "because I have tits and a
pussy." (Eschborn Dep. at 43.) She also admits that she
told one of her coworkers to "bite me" after he was
repeatedly "badgering" her regarding her
performance of her job duties. (Eschborn Dep. at 48-49.)
5} On March 7, 2016, Eschborn filed a complaint in
the Court of Claims alleging that ODOT terminated her
employment because of her ...