For more information please call  800.727.2766


Employer Denied Request for Psychosexual Evaluation

Maria Angelica Carbajal filed a lawsuit alleging Hayes Management Service's president and owner, Chris Hayes, sexually harassed her and subjected her to a hostile work environment. Carbajal also asserts Hayes retaliated against her for filing the lawsuit.

As part of the discovery process, Hayes Management asked Carbajal to submit to a psychosexual evaluation. The company based its request on "the nature of her allegations and her behaviors" while the company employed her. Carbajal objected to undergoing the assessment, calling it "completely inappropriate." She pointed out that these examinations are used in criminal actions against sex offenders to assess whether they are likely to re-offend. Hayes Management responded that such an evaluation would "establish Ms. Carbajal's sensitivity levels" compared to the average woman, which Hayes believes is relevant to her Title VII claims. The company did not push until Carbajal identified an expert witness to attest to her feeling "trapped and confused at her place of employment" and being "entangled psychologically with unhealthy expectations coming from her boss and others at work." The expert would also attest to the negative emotional repercussions experienced by Carbajal.

A federal district court in Idaho reviewed Hayes Management's request for an order compelling Carbajal to undergo a psychosexual evaluation. Idaho law defines a psychosexual evaluation as one that "specifically addresses sexual development, sexual deviancy, sexual history, and risk of reoffense as part of a comprehensive evaluation of an offender." [emphasis included] The district court said Hayes Management's request to have a plaintiff alleging sexual harassment undergo such a "highly intrusive" evaluation demonstrated "a gross misapprehension of Title VII law." Moreover, the judge said it bordered on "abusive and harassing." The court further noted Hayes Management did not cite a single case to support a court-ordered mental examination, much less the psychosexual evaluation, to prove that the conduct was not offensive or unwelcome. Per the court, the appropriate inquiry was whether the plaintiff showed through her own conduct that the alleged behavior was unwelcome. Carbajal's "sexual contact" with any other individuals has "no probative value" in determining the welcomeness of Hayes' sexual conduct in the workplace. The court denied the motion and ordered Hayes to pay Carbajal's expenses in opposing the motion.