Workers who cry foul seldom get a day in court

Morgan Cramer said her co-worker at the Bojangles restaurant in Dawsonville repeatedly made vile and graphic comments about how he wanted to have sex with her.

Days later, the same co-worker confronted Cramer in the back of the restaurant, this time moving toward her with his back arched and his hips thrust forward. When she tried to push him away, Cramer says, the man pinned her against the wall, tried to kiss her and then reached for her crotch. Her complaints to her boss went unheeded.

Cramer quit and later filed a lawsuit against the restaurant in federal court. But she found that complaining to the court was sort of like complaining to her boss — her case was dismissed before reaching a jury.

That's how it generally goes in the northern district of Georgia: it's nearly impossible to get a trial in an employment discrimination case.

Court records reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show that even in cases where employees allege they were groped, cases are dismissed, with a judge finding that no reasonable jury would conclude that the worker endured a hostile work environment.

The same is true where racial discrimination is at issue. Judges have dismissed cases where workers allege the "n-word" and "boy" were used repeatedly in the workplace. In one case, a club owner is alleged to have used the n-word at least six times over the span of 15 months. Yet a magistrate judge held "none of those incidents rise above the level of 'ordinary tribulations of the workplace.'"

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