First American denies firing manager for complaining about sexual harassment

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | May 20, 2013

HOUSTON - First American Home Buyers Protection Corp. submitted its formal response to a former employee's lawsuit alleging wrongful termination for resisting a supervisor's advances.

An original answer filed April 25 in Houston federal court acknowledges that plaintiff Macy Alexis Pedregon and Mike Milton had a consensual intimate relationship, but denies First American fired Pedregon for complaining about Milton's inappropriate behavior.

Pedregon, who worked as a field service manager at the time of the events in question, explains in her original petition that Milton subjected her to retaliation and harassment after he assumed the role of her superior in 2007.

The suit further shows that Milton, who is not a defendant in the case, purportedly disciplined the plaintiff “for being unprofessional” after she introduced him and other managers to her boyfriend at a March 2011 company meeting in Las Vegas.

First American then dismissed the complainant "on the false grounds that she missed a meeting" following her verbal commitment to relocating with her job to Phoenix in late January 2012, it says.

According to the defendant, any action which Pedregon complained about "was based on reasonable factors other than her sex, her purported participation in protected activity, or any other legally protected status, and regardless of these factors, the same action(s) would have been taken."

It asserts that its widely-disseminated anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy is strictly enforced, and the plaintiff "failed to avail herself of the corrective mechanisms offered by First American to remedy any alleged harassment."

"Pedregon cannot establish a causal link between any alleged protected activity and any alleged adverse employment action," the seven-page document says.

Attorney Allan H. Neighbors IV of Littler Mendelson in Houston is representing the respondent.

Case No. 13-CV-555

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