Posted On: January 14, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Illinois Sexual Harassment Case Settles For $462,500 Against Chicago Dentist

The Chicago office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") had filed a civil lawsuit against dentist James L. Orrington in September 2007, claiming he had discriminated against 18 employees by subjecting them to sexual propositions, comments and improper touching, which amounted to sexual harassment. Orrington agreed to pay $462,500 to settle the lawsuit which claims he violated discrimination laws by sexually harassing workers and by forcing employees who wanted to keep their jobs to submit to indoctrination in the tenets of Scientology.

The lawsuit also claims Orrington violated employee civil-rights law by firing or taking other retaliatory actions against some employees who had complained about his behavior. Retaliation occurs when an employee is fired or has his terms and conditions of work changed as a result of making a formal complaint of discrimination. Additionally, federal law also protects those individuals who testify, assist or participate in an investigation of illegal activity or those who oppose unlawful employment practice.

A result of settling the lawsuit a consent decree was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and calls for Orrington to pay $462,500 to the workers involved and enjoins him from further sexual or religious workplace discrimination. In the consent decree Orrington does not admit any admission of guilt however.

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