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Musolf v. J.C. Penney Co., Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

December 5, 2014

Loralie Ann Musolf, an individual, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
J.C. Penney Company, Inc., a Delaware corporation doing business in Minnesota, Defendant - Appellee

Submitted October 7, 2014

As Corrected December 8, 2014.

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis.

For Loralie Ann Musolf, an individual, Plaintiff - Appellant: Justin Andrew Bruntjen, JAB LEGAL, LLC, Minneapolis, MN; Nicholas Paul Granath, Attorney, SEHAM & SEHAM, Minneapolis, MN.

For J.C. Penney Company, Inc., a Delaware corporation doing business in Minnesota, Defendant - Appellee: Thomas J. Conley, LAW OFFICE OF THOMAS J. CONLEY, Minneapolis, MN; Diana Catherine Kays, Sonja J. McGill, J.C. PENNEY COMPANY, Legal Department, Plano, TX.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, WOLLMAN and BYE, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 917

BYE, Circuit Judge.

Loralie Ann Musolf brought this employment discrimination case claiming retaliation and reprisal against her former employer J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (" J.C. Penney" ). The district court[1] granted summary judgment to J.C. Penney on all claims. Musolf now appeals. We affirm.

I

Musolf was employed with J.C. Penney for two years as a loss prevention specialist. Musolf led a team of employees and worked to prevent theft from the St. Cloud, Minnesota, J.C. Penney store. Musolf was effective at her job and decreased theft from the store. Musolf's direct supervisor, store manager Craig Child, had concerns Musolf did not display respect for her team and needed to develop her teamwork. Child conducted coaching sessions with Musolf to work on these issues during her employment with J.C. Penney.

In late January and early February 2010, Musolf made claims of sexual harassment against one of her co-workers, Joe Pekarna, based on three touching incidences which occurred in late January. Musolf made the complaints to Child. Shortly thereafter Child met with Pekarna and Pekarna never touched Musolf again. The parties dispute when Musolf learned of Child's meeting with Pekarna, but Musolf acknowledges she was repeatedly told by Child the situation was taken care of. In March 2010, Musolf was presented with a certificate commending her outstanding performance. In May 2010, Musolf earned a merit raise.

By August 2010, Child had received complaints about Musolf from several employees, including Pekarna. Pekarna raised three recent incidents to Child, one of which involved an argument between Musolf and Pekarna on August 13, 2010. Pekarna had reported the confrontation to Child on August 16, 2010. On August 18, 2010, Child held a meeting with Musolf to discuss the complaints. The district loss prevention manager, Grant Grassle, was also in attendance and commended Musolf on her effectiveness at apprehending shoplifters.

Thereafter, Child held two further meetings with Musolf, during which Musolf admits she refused to fully participate in answering questions. Child believed Musolf had downloaded documents in violation of her confidentiality ...


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