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Rester v. Stephens Media, LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

January 13, 2014

Loretta H. RESTER, Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
STEPHENS MEDIA, LLC; William Elderton, also known as William (Bill) Elderton; Dennis Byrd, Defendants-Appellees.

Submitted: Sept. 24, 2013.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1129

Lloyd W. Kitchens, III, argued, Little Rock, AR, for Appellant.

Donna S. Galchus, argued, Little Rock, AR, (Gregory J. Northen, on the brief), for Appellee.

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

BRIGHT, Circuit Judge.

Loretta Rester brought an action against her former employers for employment discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e et seq., and Arkansas state law. Rester alleged various claims, including sex discrimination, a hostile work environment, constructive discharge, and retaliation. The district court [1] denied relief in a summary judgment of dismissal. Rester appeals. We affirm.

I. Background

During the relevant time period, Loretta Rester worked as a graphic designer at the Hot Springs Village Voice, an Arkansas newspaper owned by Stephens Media, LLC.

On April 13, 2011, Rester and her supervisor, William Elderton, the newspaper's general manager, engaged in a confrontation regarding revisions to a special golf publication that was due in one week. The client had rejected the proposed work. Elderton and Rester participated in a review of the errors and proposed changes when, according to Rester's deposition testimony, Elderton slammed his hands on the desk and began screaming and cursing at her. Rester testified that she rolled her chair back, stood up, and said that she needed to leave, but Elderton put his hands on her three times, and physically prevented her fro leaving until she began " wailing and cussing and screaming and hollering."

After the incident, Rester went outside to her automobile for about ten minutes. She then returned and met with Elderton

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and Lynette Melcher, the editor, about the incident. Elderton apologized. Rester briefly left the office, but returned and stayed at work until ...


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