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Witness Testimony Is Relevant, Court Rules

(CN) - A Virginia air-traffic controller's sexual harassment lawsuit should not have been dismissed, because her co-workers' affidavits were improperly excluded from evidence, the 4th Circuit ruled.

Cynthia Ziskie sued the U.S. Department of Transportation for allowing women to be subjected to "unremitting use of profanity, sexual innuendos, mass flatulence, and other behaviors designed to make female workers uncomfortable."

Male workers also made several remarks about the female workers' breasts, calling one woman "an alien with big boobs" and making fun of another woman's breasts while she was pregnant.

The district court found that Ziskie's claim was not "pervasive or severe enough" to warrant a judgment in her favor. Judge Wilkinson said the district court must reconsider the case, including the affidavits of her co-workers.

"Even if Ziskie did not witness the conduct described therein," Wilkinson wrote, "it is nonetheless relevant because it would contribute to the evidence offered to show that the workplace environment was a hostile one."

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