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Young’s e-mail address is gyoungnlj.com. reaching a different conclusion than a previous panel of the court, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, held on July 18 that an employer was liable for compensatory, but not punitive, damages, where a female employee was sexually harassed at the workplace. Ocheltree v. Scollon Productions Inc., No. 01-1648. Lisa Ocheltree sued her former employer, Scollon Productions Inc., alleging gender discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Ocheltree alleged that Scollon employees sexually harassed her with inappropriate activities such as lewd comments, performance of simulated sex acts with a company mannequin and display of nude photographs. She alleged further that company management did not respond to her complaints. A jury found for Ocheltree, finding $7,280 in compensatory damages and $400,000 in punitive damages. A district court denied Scallon’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and Scollon appealed. A 4th Circuit panel reversed, holding that Scollon’s actions did not violate Title VII. Vacating that panel’s decision and rehearing the case en banc, the court affirmed the trial court’s judgment as to compensatory damages, but reversed as to punitives. Unlike the panel, the full court held that a reasonable jury could have found that Ocheltree had established all four required elements of a Title VII sexual harassment action. As for the punitive award, the court held that Ocheltree had failed to establish that Scollon was legally aware it was violating her federally protected rights.

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