United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Michael J. Radmer, Jr., Plaintiff,
OS Salesco, Inc., Defendant.
Phillip Gainsley, Esq., Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of
A. Brinkman, Esq., Briggs & Morgan, PA, Minneapolis, MN,
on behalf of Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
October 7, 2016, the undersigned United States District Judge
heard oral argument on Defendant OS Salesco, Inc.'s
(“Omaha Steaks” or the “Company”)
Motion for Summary Judgment [Docket No. 21]. Plaintiff
Michael J. Radmer, Jr.'s (“Radmer”) Complaint
[Docket No. 1-1] asserts a Minnesota Human Rights Act claim
against Omaha Steaks. Radmer's claim is premised upon
alleged sexual harassment and assault on Radmer by his
co-worker, direct supervisor, and former girlfriend Hilliary
Jordan (“Jordan”) while working at the
Company's St. Louis Park, Minnesota store. Compl.
¶¶ 1-15. For the reasons set forth below, Omaha
Steaks' motion is granted.
Radmer and Jordan
and Jordan met while they both were employees at U.S. Bank.
Brinkman Decl. [Docket No. 24] Ex. 1 (“Radmer
Dep.”) 69:9-10; 75:2-3. In December 2013, a few months
after meeting, they developed a consensual, sexual
relationship. Id. 76:17-77:12.
2014, Jordan left U.S. Bank and was hired as an Assistant
Store Manager at an Omaha Steaks' store in St. Louis
Park, Minnesota. Brinkman Decl. Ex. 12. A few weeks after
starting her new job, Jordan and company representatives
raised concerns about store manager, Steve Clem
(“Clem”). Id. Ex. 4 (“Oehmen
Dep.”) at 24:11-19. When confronted with questions
about “inventory variances, ” Clem resigned and
Jordan was almost immediately promoted to Clem's position
as store manager. Id. Ex. 2 at 12:10-18; 13:24-14:2.
Jordan was promoted despite concerns about her credit rating,
a factor Omaha Steaks considers when promoting individuals
into fiduciary roles. Gainsley Decl. [Docket No. 28] Ex. K at
10; Ex. I at 17:23-18:7. At this time, Jordan was the only
employee who worked at the St. Louis Park store. Oehmen Dep.
and Jordan's romantic relationship continued, and the two
agreed to lease an apartment together starting in September
2014. Radmer Dep. 82:12-19. Around the time the apartment
lease was set to begin, Radmer, dissatisfied with his job at
U.S. Bank, stopped reporting to work and his employment with
the bank ended. Id. 69:5-70:19. On September 8,
2014, Radmer moved into the new apartment. Id.
82:12-13. However, he moved out six days later after
quarreling with Jordan. Id. 82:23-84:24. Radmer
states their romantic relationship ended at this point.
September 15, 2014, one day after their breakup, Radmer sent
Jordan a copy of his resume to apply for an open sales
position at Omaha Steaks' St. Louis Park store. Brinkman
Decl. Ex. 13. On September 19, 2014, Radmer formally
interviewed for the position with Jordan. Id. Exs.
14, 15. Jordan, with the approval of Mark Oehman
(“Oehmen”), the store's district manager,
hired Radmer. Id. Ex. 3 (“Jordan Dep.”)
14:8-16. Jordan did not disclose to Oehmen her romantic
relationship with Radmer, revealing only that they had been
co-workers at U.S. Bank. Oehmen Dep. 63:9-24.
first day of employment at Omaha Steaks was September 30,
2014. Brinkman Decl. Ex. 6. Jordan conducted Radmer's
orientation. Radmer Dep. 110:15-19. He received copies of
Omaha Steaks' policies and was trained on how to access
orientation and training materials on the Company's
intranet. Id. 109:19-110:9. Radmer signed a
“Statement of Understanding” certifying that he
received a copy of the Employee Information book and that he
was made aware of available human resource materials.
Id. 108:21-25; Brinkman Decl. Ex. 9.
days, Radmer and Jordan were the only Omaha Steaks employees
working at the St. Louis Park store. During the course of
Radmer's employment, Oehmen visited the store three times
to perform training, review store performance, and work on
the sales floor. Oehmen Dep. 70:5-11. Oehmen also
occasionally spoke to Radmer on the telephone. Id.
70:12-17. He estimated the two talked between 15 and 20 times
during Radmer's employment. Id. 121:16-19.
Omaha Steaks' Policies
the policies Radmer acknowledged receiving and reviewing was
Omaha Steaks' harassment policy prohibiting sexual
harassment in the workplace. Brinkman Decl. Ex. 8. This
policy provides guidance on how to report harassment and
other inappropriate workplace relationships, and outlines the
Company's prohibition of retaliation against persons who
make good faith reports of such behaviors. Id.
Employees experiencing harassment of any kind are directed to
report the behavior to a “supervisor, manager,
director, vice president or any manager in Human
Resources” as soon as possible. Id. While not
prohibited, the Company “strongly” discourages
managers and subordinate employees from having personal
If an employee dates, solicits for a date, makes sexual
overtures toward, accepts sexual overtures from, or
establishes or attempts to establish a close personal
relationship with any employee working under their direct or
indirect supervision or management, both of the involved
employees are required to immediately disclose this fact in
writing to the appropriate Division Head and the Vice
President of Human Resources.
Id. Omaha Steaks' Open Door Policy encourages a
work environment where employees may raise problems or
concerns about their job. Id. The contact
information for 20 Human Resources employees, including the
Vice President of Human Resources, is also provided.
of the Company's policies was stored inside the store and
a copy of the Company's sexual harassment policy was also
posted in the employee bathroom. Jordan Dep. 213:1-9; Oehmen
alleges Jordan began to sexually harass him immediately after
he was hired. She demanded Radmer kiss her at the beginning
of every shift and she engaged in “continuous
inappropriate flirtation” throughout the day. Radmer
Dep. 17:8-10; 17:22-23. The harassment was both verbal and
physical. Radmer reports that Jordan performed unwelcomed
oral sex on him inside of the store on multiple occasions.
Id. 23:20-21; 30:10-12. Radmer claims that before
the first incident he told Jordan to stop, but he did not say
anything the second or third time because he was
“resigned” to the situation and his earlier
objections “hadn't stopped her.” Id.
23:9-15; 29:16-19. Radmer also states that he and Jordan had
sexual intercourse in the back room of the store.
Id. 31:7-24. According to Radmer, Jordan threatened
to fire him if her sexual advances were rebuffed.
sexual harassment also extended beyond that in the St. Louis
Park store. Radmer, who was living with his parents, alleges
that Jordan forced him to stay at her apartment as a
condition for her to see a doctor for a pregnancy check.
Id. 89:12-21. Radmer claims that Jordan would not
agree to see a doctor unless he stayed in the apartment,
prepared her meals, and slept in the same bed with her.
Id. 134:1-13. According to Radmer, this was the
third time Jordan claimed to be pregnant with his child and
that he had “no choice” but to acquiesce to
Jordan's demands because “[s]he had lied to me
about scheduling prior appointments with doctors, and then
came up with excuses” for avoiding medical attention.
Id. 133:22-25; 134:8-13.
evening of January 24, 2015, Radmer was at his parents'
house with a female friend. Id. 151:25; 152:11-14.
Jordan texted Radmer that she was coming over to drop off a
rent check and pick up laundry. Id. 154:3-6.
Although Radmer responded for Jordan to come by another time,
Jordan arrived at the home. Id. 154:5-9.
was at the house with another woman. Id. 152:6-10.
Radmer had been drinking. Id. 152:21-22. Jordan
entered the home by way of a hidden key and the two got into
an altercation. Id. 154:10-17; 156:4-13. The police
were called. Id. 158:9-15. Officers arrived and
interviewed Jordan about what happened. Jordan told the
interviewing officer that she and Radmer got into an argument
about Radmer's drinking. Gainsley Decl. Ex. B. Jordan
stated that when she attempted to get Radmer to stop drinking
and go to bed, Radmer became physically violent. Id.
was arrested and spent the night in jail. Radmer Dep.
158:19-25. The officer who interviewed Jordan did not see any
marks or wounds on her neck. Gainsley Decl. Ex. B. An
ambulance arrived, but Jordan refused transport and departed
the scene in her own vehicle. Id. Radmer ...