United States District Court, D. Idaho
Lynn Sorenson, Plaintiff: Eric S Rossman, LEAD ATTORNEY,
ROSSMAN LAW GROUP PLLC, Boise, ID; Erica S Phillips, Kimberly
Lynette Williams, LEAD ATTORNEY, ROSSMAN LAW GROUP, Boise,
City of Caldwell, a political subdivision of the State of
Idaho, City of Caldwell Department of Parks and Recreation,
Defendants: Kirtlan G Naylor, LEAD ATTORNEY, NAYLOR & HALES,
Boise, ID; Tyler D Williams, Naylor and Hales, P.C., Boise,
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Winmill, Chief United States District Judge.
before the Court is Defendant City of Caldwell's
(Caldwell) Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 22). The Court
has reviewed the briefs submitted by the parties and, after a
hearing on this matter conducted on July 20, 2015, enters the
following Order granting Caldwell's motion.
Lynn Sorenson sued Caldwell claiming that he was
constructively discharged due to an age-based hostile work
environment and that he was retaliated against by Caldwell,
all in violation of the Federal Age Discrimination in
Employment Act (" ADEA" ) and the Idaho Human
Rights Act (" IHRA" ). Am. Compl. ¶
¶ 23-36. Caldwell seeks summary judgment on
was hired to work for Caldwell's Parks Department in
April 2008. Def. Statement of Facts ¶ 1, Dkt.
22-2. Sorenson's direct supervisor was Vinton Howell, who
reported to ElJay Waite, the City Finance Director and
Treasurer, who reported to Mayor Garret Nancolas.
Id. Sorenson's work would often take him to the
Purple Sage and Fairview golf courses, where Ken Wheeler
worked as the Golf Superintendent. Id. ¶ 2.
Wheeler would often use inappropriate age-related language
and profanities with Sorenson. Am. Compl. ¶ 10.
Sorenson alleges that this problem was not adequately
addressed despite multiple complaints to city officials.
Id. ¶ ¶ 10-13.
August 2011, Caldwell merged the Parks Department, city golf
courses, and cemetery to become the Land and Facilities
Department. Def. Statement of Facts ¶ 2, Dkt.
22-2. As part of this merger, Wheeler was promoted to the
newly created position of Land and Facilities Superintendent,
overseeing all three parts of the new department.
Id. Under the new structure, the Parks employees,
including Sorenson, were supervised by Howell, who reported
to Wheeler. Id. ¶ ¶ 1-2.
February 27, 2012, Monica Jones, Caldwell's Human
Resources Director, had a series of meetings with Sorenson
and other Parks employees. Id. ¶ 4. During the
course of those meetings, Jones received information that
Wheeler was making age-related comments to Sorenson as well
as profane comments to other employees. Id.
Subsequently, Wheeler was instructed to not enter the
to not directly contact Parks employees, and to not make
age-related comments to Sorenson. Pl.'s Statement of
Facts, ¶ ¶ 8-9, Dkt. 25-1. Determined to
resolve the conflict, Sorenson encouraged the other Parks
employees to work together with Wheeler. Id. ¶
12. In violation of his superior's orders, Wheeler
entered the Parks building on March 20, 2012, made derogatory