The opinion of the court was delivered by: Platt, District Judge.
Defendant Romano's Macaroni Grill ("Romano's") moves for
partial summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules
of Procedure. For the following reasons, the motion is denied.
From July 17, 1996 until May 14, 1997, Plaintiff Karen M. Susko
was employed by Romano's as a baker/chef or as a baker/cook at
its restaurant in Westbury, New York.
At the commencement of her employment, Susko received an
employee orientation handbook which contained the company's
sexual harassment policy. The policy provided, among other
things, that an employee who believed she was being harassed
should, if possible, confront the harasser and inform him to
stop. The policy also indicated that the victim should report the
incident to her manager, her Area Director, or the Human
Resources Representative. Susko testified that she read and was
aware of this policy.
Allegedly, in October 1996, Susko, who had recently been
involved in a car accident, was retrieving produce from a walkin
refrigerator when Daniel Fabrizio, a fellow chef and co-worker,
entered the refrigerator, asked Susko what had happened to her,
touched her lower back, and advised her to visit a chiropractor.
Susko did not report this incident because she thought Fabrizio
was merely attempting to help.
In December 1996, a few days before Christmas, Fabrizio
allegedly attempted to kiss and hug Susko, while wishing her a
Merry Christmas. The parties dispute whether Fabrizio attempted
to kiss Susko on the mouth or on the cheek. Susko did not report
this incident to anyone.
In the beginning of March 1997, Fabrizio allegedly squeezed
Susko's hip/waste area and patted her behind, when Susko walked
past him. Subsequently, Fabrizio allegedly squeezed her side
again and threatened to hit her numerous times.
On March 9, 1997, Susko reported these incidents and the
October and December incidents to Paul Filiberto, her immediate
supervisor who said, "it will be taken care of and not to worry
about it any more." (Susko Aff. at ¶ 4.) Regional Chef Antonio
Mattina was present when Susko told Filiberto about Fabrizio's
actions. Following this complaint, Paul Filiberto and Thomas
Coronato, the General Manager, met with Fabrizio and informed him
that there had been a complaint made against him involving sexual
harassment, that sexual harassment was a terminable offense, and
that he could not engage in this kind of conduct again.
On March 15, 1997, Fabrizio again squeezed Susko's side and
threatened physical violence. The incident, which was witnessed
by a fellow employee, Rhonda Sullivan, was again reported to Paul
Filiberto, who allegedly warned Fabrizio about his conduct and
told Fabrizio to apologize. Fabrizio allegedly did not apologize.
The incident was also reported to the General Manager, Thomas
On March 16, 1997, Susko felt someone squeeze her side.
Although she did not see Fabrizio touch her, Susko noticed
Fabrizio walking away from her after the incident. Allegedly, she
immediately reported the incident to Filiberto.
Susko claims that Romano's failed to take action for several
days, prompting Susko to report the incidents to her Area
Director, Bill Lettier on March 21, 1997. On that same day, Mr.
Lettier responded by holding a meeting with Susko, Coronato, and
Filiberto. Lettier also interviewed Rhonda Sullivan, the witness,
and, later that day, he fired Fabrizio. On May 14, 1997, Susko
On or about December 11, 1997, the plaintiff filed a complaint
with the United States Equal Opportunity Commission, alleging
that Romano's violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
42 U.S.C. § 2000(e) et seq. ("Title VII"). She filed this
complaint in this Court on November 4, 1999, alleging that
Romano's was liable for sexual harassment and retaliation under
Title VII. She seeks a declaratory judgment that the defendant
has violated Title VII, a permanent injunction directing the
defendant to employ her ...