Posted On: June 30, 2009

SkyWest Airlines Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Going To Trial

United States District Judge Anderson ruled that a series of sexually offensive comments made to three women employed by SkyWest Airlines, Inc., as alleged by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") in a lawsuit could constitute actionable sexual harassment. SkyWest filed a Motion for Summary Judgment which was rejected by the Court. In denying defendant SkyWest's motion for summary judgment, the court said that a reasonable jury "could find the comments to be 'uninvited sexual solicitations' and 'obscene language' rather than merely vulgar banter."

In its lawsuit EEOC v. SkyWest Airlines, Inc., N.D. Ill. No 07 C 4925, the EEOC alleges that SkyWest discriminated against three former employees by subjecting them to sexual harassment by a co-worker and then firing them in retaliation for complaining about the hostile work environment, all in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The court noted that between six and eight offensive remarks were made to each of the women and included the speaker's statements,

"that he wished he could put his mouth on her breasts" and "that he wanted to have sex with her and get between her thighs."
The court concluded,
"We find that a reasonable fact finder could find that these comments to be severe enough to constitute 'uninvited sexual solicitations' and 'obscene language,' rather than merely vulgar banter."

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Posted On: June 28, 2009

United States Supreme Court Gives Union Workers The Shaft

The United States Supreme Court in 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, 129 S. Ct. 1456 (2009) by a 5-4 vote held that a provision in a collective bargaining agreement ("Agreement") which clearly and unmistakeably requires employees to arbitrate their statutory discrimination claims is enforceable and precludes employees from asserting their statutory claims in state or federal courts. In laymans terms what this means is that if you are in a union and through bargaining the union agrees to settle all employment claims through arbitration, your sole remedy as a union employee is to arbitrate the claim. You will be forever barred from filing a claim in any federal or state court.

This decision does not affect employees who are not in a union as they have not bargained through their representatives the terms of their employment. The types of claims involved could include sexual harassment, gender discrimination, age discrimination, racial discrimination. Americans with Disabilities, age discrimination, religious discrimination, retaliation claims and sexual orientations claims.

The Court did hold that the Agreement to arbitrate must be "clear and unmistakable". One issue the Court did not address is what happens if the Union does not take the employees claim to arbitration? There are two ways to interpert the Court's decision in Pyett, one the employee would have no further remedy or in that case the employee court take the case to state or federal court, however the latter seems less likely under Pyett.

Posted On: June 26, 2009

United Parcel Service Settles EEOC Religious Discrimination Lawsuit for $23,000

United Parcel Service ("UPS") will offer monetary damages and religious accommodations to a 19-year employee at UPS’s Bartlett, Tenn., facility to resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The lawsuit, EEOC v. UPS, Inc. (Civil Action No. 2:07-cv-02576 filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee), charged UPS violated federal law by refusing to accommodate the religious beliefs of one of its drivers and trying to force him to work past sundown on his Sabbath, which violates his tenets as a member of the United Church of God.

Religious discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which mandates that sincerely held religious beliefs of employees must be accommodated by employers as long as it does not cause an undue hardship on the company. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. UPS denied that it engaged in discrimination against the employee.

“Religious discrimination is not to be taken lightly,” said Faye Williams, the EEOC’s regional attorney for its Memphis District, which covers Tennessee, Arkansas and Northern Mississippi. “All employers must respond reasonably to an employee’s religious accommodation requests.”

Religious discrimination charge filings reported to EEOC offices nationwide have substantially increased from 1,388 in Fiscal Year 1992 to 3,273 in FY 2008.

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Posted On: June 25, 2009

Ryan's Family Steakhouse Pays $500,000 To Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Fire Mountain Restaurants LLC, doing business as Ryan’s Family Steakhouse (Ryan’s) settled a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") for $500,000. According to the EEOC’s lawsuit Ryan’s subjected black and female employees to a sex-based and race-based hostile work environment, as well as adverse terms and conditions of employment. In some instances, african-american workers were terminated because of their race. The EEOC charged that white employees were also harassed because of their association with black coworkers and family members. The mistreatment included being referred to as “n----r lovers” and “race traitors” by white managers.

The EEOC claimed female workers were harassed because of their gender, and all complainants suffered retaliation for reporting the discrimination. The gender-based hostile work environment included male managers physically intimidating women, making sexual advances, and calling them gender-related epithets such as bitches. This is a form of gender discrimination.

“Any company – whether large, mid-sized or small – should know better than to allow discrimination and harassment to run rampant,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “No one should ever have to endure a hostile workplace in order to make a living. Employers that continue to violate federal anti-discrimination laws risk enforcement action by the EEOC.”

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Posted On: June 24, 2009

Vail Corporation Pays $80,000 To Settle Religious and Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

The Vail Corporation operators of ski resorts in Vail and Keystone, Colo., will pay $80,000 and furnish other relief to settle a religious and gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").

According to the lawsuit, EEOC v. The Vail Corporation, 07-cv-02035-REB-KLM, Lisa Marie Cornwell, an emergency services supervisor at the Keystone Resort, was subjected to harassment based on her Christian religion and her gender, denied religious accommodation and treated less favorably than her male colleagues. The EEOC said that Cornwell’s supervisor, Rick Garcia, forbade her and another Christian employee from even discussing their Christian beliefs with one another while at work, and would not allow them to listen to Christian music while on duty, because it might offend other employees, but had no similar restrictions on music with profanity or lyrics promoting violence against women, which were offensive to Cornwell.

EEOC Denver Field Director Nancy Sienko added, “Claims of religious discrimination have increased by more than 80 percent in the last ten years.

Additionally, according to the EEOC, Garcia ridiculed Cornwell for asking for scheduling accommodation so that she could attend her preferred religious services, and denied her requests while scheduling lower ranking officers for the shifts she requested. Also, Garcia created and tolerated a hostile work environment where he and other male employees made offensive sexual comments and jokes in the workplace and subjected Cornwell to sexual harassment, the EEOC alleged.

Cornwell complained to various Keystone managers and human resource staff about the harassment and being scheduled to miss her religious services on Sundays, but no action was taken to resolve the problems. EEOC alleged that Cornwell was fired in retaliation for her last complaint, made less than ten days before her termination.

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Posted On: June 23, 2009

Hickory Hills Country Club To Pay $690,000 To Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment, Retaliation and Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Federal District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer entered a consent decree resolving two lawsuits against Chateau Del Mar, Inc. and Hickory Properties, Inc., known as Hickory Hills Country Club. Under the decree, the defendants are required pay $590,000, including attorneys’ fees, to a class of women who endured a sexually hostile work environment and retaliation, and, in addition, up to another $100,000 to African American applicants who were denied hire because of their race, also known as racial discrimination.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") lawsuit, filed on March 25, 2008 under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 alleged that the principal and manager of the facility sexually harassed a class of women employees over a period of years and refused to hire African American applicants. Female employees were called derogatory names and belittled as well as enduring sexual advances and, in some instances, physical assaults.

Shortly after three of the women filed their own private federal lawsuit for sexual harassment on October 24, 2007 (captioned Curry, Knable, & Raddatz v. Chateau Del Mar, Inc., Steven Gianakas, and Hickory Properties, Inc., No. 07 C 6021), Chateau Del Mar and Steven Gianakas sued them in Illinois state court. Their seven-count complaint alleged a wide variety of claimed wrongs, including, but not limited to, physical and mental injuries, “tripping and pushing Gianakas,” breach of fiduciary duty, and destroying property. (Chateau Del Mar and Steven P. Gianakas v. Knable, et al, Circuit Court of Cook County No. 2007L012463.)

“This serious and ongoing harassment of women was unconscionable enough. Then these defendants made a bad situation worse by punishing the victims for engaging in protected activity,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “This kind of retaliation is plainly illegal, even if it is cleverly disguised as a supposedly legitimate lawsuit.”

An EEOC investigation determined that there was reasonable cause to believe that the women were sued because they exercised their federally protected rights to protest discrimination. The circuit court of Cook County dismissed the lawsuit Chateau Del Mar and Gianakas had filed. Thereafter, the EEOC filed a second lawsuit on September 22, 2008 against Chateau Del Mar for retaliation. The three individual private plaintiffs intervened in the EEOC’s retaliation case, and all three suits were docketed as related cases before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer.

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Posted On: June 22, 2009

Simula Settles EEOC Gender and Retaliation Case For $110,000

A Phoenix-based international military contractor, Simula, which is owned by BAE Systems will pay $110,000 and furnish other relief to settle lawsuit charging gender discrimination, age discrimination and retaliation filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC’s suit (Case No. 2:07-CV-01656-PHX-ECV) in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona charged that Simula, Inc. discriminated against temporary employees Margaret Chavez, Laura Box, and Christine Hanson by paying them less than male employees who performed the same job duties and not making them permanent employees. The EEOC also charged that Simula discriminated against Chavez on the basis of her age and ended Box’s temporary employment in retaliation for her complaints of sexual harassment.

"Employers cannot take advantage of temporary employees by denying them a work environment free of gender and age discrimination and retaliation,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “Federal law protects both permanent and temporary employees from discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.”

Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibit employment discrimination based on age, race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy or sexual harassment) or national origin and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation.

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Posted On: June 19, 2009

Brand Energy Solutions, L.L.C. Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $175,000

A construction contractor operating at Texas refineries will pay $175,000 and agreed to a decree which enjoins Brand from discriminating against employees based on sex or retaliating against employees for opposing unlawful employment practices. It also provides for the implementation of an effective anti-discrimination policy and anti-discrimination training for Brand’s employees.

The EEOC’s lawsuit charged Brand Energy Solutions, L.L.C., formerly known as Brand Scaffold Builders, L.L.C., with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting a female employee to sexual harassment and retaliation. The agency said that an operations manager employed by Brand at a Corpus Christi refinery sexually harassed a female timekeeper whom he supervised. The sexual harassment included subjecting her to repeated unwelcome physical contact, sexual advances and comments; placing lurid images on her work computer; and threatening and intimidating behavior such as throwing objects at her and locking her in a trailer. According to the lawsuit, the woman was forced to quit her job when Brand Scaffold failed to take prompt and appropriate remedial action to address the harassment, as the law requires.

Further, the EEOC charged, Brand retaliated against the woman for complaining about the abuse. After she complained to management she was removed from her work site, placed directly in the harasser's office and was shunned by the other employees. She was told by co-workers and at least one Brand manager that whistleblowers never keep their jobs.

“The law requires employers to take reasonable steps to prevent such sexual harassment,” said David Rivela, senior trial attorney of the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office.
Posted On: June 18, 2009

University of Phoeniz Pays $32,500 To Settle Retaliation Lawsuit

To settle a retaliaion lawsuit the University of Phoenix, Inc. will pay $32,500 and ensure managers and employees are trained in complying with laws prohibiting employment discrimination and retaliation. It also requires a notice be issued to Tarhini’s former supervisor on the EEOC’s allegations of retaliation, and that the university provide the agency with annual reports reflecting any retaliation complaints with Title VII implications.

The EEOC’s lawsuit, filed in September 2008 (C.A. 4:08-cv-02890 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division), charged that Latrish Elaine Tarhini, an enrollment counselor at the University of Phoenix’s Houston campus, applied for the company’s leadership development program and for a position as a team lead. After she was not selected for either, the EEOC said, Tarhini learned that management had stated she would never be a manager or considered for management because of her earlier pregnancy discrimination charge against the company.

“Denying an employee training opportunities in retaliation for having previously filed a discrimination charge violates federal law as much as a retaliatory discharge,” said Kathy D. Boutchee, the EEOC senior trial attorney in charge of the case."
Posted On: June 17, 2009

Providence Alaska Medical Center to pay $220,000 To Settle Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Providence Alaska Medical Center will pay $220,000 and revise its policies, provide training on discrimination and retaliation for operating room employees, and file regular reports with the EEOC for monitoring in addition to other injunctive relief as part of a settlement of an age discrimination lawsuit on behalf of five workers laid off and denied rehire because of their age.

The EEOC charged that in February 2005, Providence laid off and refused to rehire longtime employees Gola Anderson, Lawrence Harris, Milagros Lopez, Rebecca Petrie and Canijie Sadiku, following a restructuring of the hospital’s operating room. The five employees had devoted between 11 and 24 years of their careers as surgery aides and anesthesia technicians to Providence and all had hoped to retire from Providence one day. The EEOC said that the five employees, ages between 46 and 56, lost their jobs due to their age, and were replaced by new hires in their twenties and thirties.

"Employers have a duty to ensure that they do not run afoul of the law when they restructure their workforce,” said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo. “We commend Providence for working cooperatively to resolve this lawsuit and believe that the relief provided in the consent decree will prevent something like this from happening in the future.”

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Posted On: June 16, 2009

Schott North America Must Pay $1.45 To Settle Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") settled a gender discrimination lawsuit for $1.45 millinois and significant equitable relief against Schott North America, a multinational developer and manufacturer of special glass and specialty materials, components and systems, based in Elmsford, N.Y. In addition to the $1.45 million in monetary relief, the three-year consent decree provides substantial equitable relief, including: injunctive relief enjoining Schott from engaging in unlawful discrimination under Title VII or retaliation; annual anti-discrimination training of all supervisors and managers at the Duryea, Pa. facility; and the posting of a notice about the settlement.

The EEOC charged that Schott laid off women because of their sex after a company reorganization in October 2004 of its specialty glass plant in Duryea, Pa. Prior to the reorganization, glass production at the plant was generally divided into two parts, the “hot end” and the “cold end”; 95.3% of the hot-end workers were male and 76.6% of the cold-end workers were female.

As part of the reorganization, the company created a new position of “melting line operator” and used a “skills matrix” to determine who would obtain these new positions. The glass company laid off employees whom it did not select for the melting line operator position. In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that the skills matrix system benefited male employees, did not accurately measure the skills truly needed to perform the melting line operator job and had an adverse impact on female applicants – who were selected for layoff at a significantly higher rate than male employees. The EEOC alleged six female employees were not selected for melting line operator positions and were laid off because of their sex, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Acting EEOC Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru said, “This significant settlement demonstrates the EEOC's commitment to securing meaningful relief for victims of systemic sex discrimination.”

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Posted On: June 15, 2009

Autozone Inc. To Pay $65,000 For Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

An eight person federal jury has returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") in a sexual harassment lawsuit against AutoZone, Inc., the Memphis, Tenn.-based national auto parts retail giant. The jury ruled that AutoZone violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting employee Stacy Wing to a sexually hostile work environment. Wing complained about the sexual harassment, but AutoZone failed to take immediate and appropriate action to stop it.

The evidence presented at trial by the EEOC showed that Wing was subjected to egregious sexual harassment when she worked at the Mesa, Ariz.-based AutoZone in 2003. The EEOC presented evidence that the store manager repeatedly forced Wing’s head down to his genitals and made crude sexual remarks to her. At least one incident was caught on the store’s video camera, but AutoZone maintained it lost the video prior to trial, along with all records of Wing’s complaints and the “investigation” AutoZone claims it conducted.

“I am grateful to the EEOC for believing in this case and seeking justice on my behalf,” Wing said after the trial. “Without the EEOC, this type of behavior would go unchecked by those employers who do not care or do not understand how devastating sexual harassment can be to someone’s life.”

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Posted On: June 14, 2009

Brooks Run Mining Co. and Neal & Associates Settle EEOC Gender Discrimination Lawsuit For $115,000

Brooks Run Mining Company and staffing firm Neal & Associates will pay $115,000 to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") According to the lawsuit, women security guards as a class were discriminated against because of their gender. The EEOC alleged the women complained about sexual harassment, then retaliated against as they were prevented either by layoffs or transfers from working at the Brooks Run Cucumber mine site, although those security jobs were available to men.

Sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (Case No. 5:08-cv-0071) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.

"Too often, women working in non-traditional fields suffer this kind of discrimination,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “The EEOC will fight to protect the rights of all workers to be free from discrimination based on gender and free from retribution for asserting that right.”

The three-year consent decree settling the lawsuit gives $115,000 to three women, all former security guards at the Cucumber mine site. In addition to monetary relief, the decree provides for significant remedial relief, including promoting supervisor accountability. The settlement also requires yearly training for all management staff on employee rights and employer obligations under federal and state anti-discrimination laws, with an emphasis on sex discrimination.

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Posted On: June 12, 2009

Dillard's Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit for $110,000

National retail giant Dillard’s, Inc., will pay $110,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit involving two male employees. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") alleged that the company permitted a sexually hostile work environment for men at its Fashion Square Mall store in Orlando, Florida.

The EEOC alleged that a male supervisor engaged in verbal and physical sexual harassment of a male sales associate and a young dockworker when the supervisor exposed himself, propositioned the men, and made sexually explicit and derogatory comments. According to the lawsuit Dillard’s ignored complaints about the male supervisor. Under the terms of the settlement the company admitted no wrongdoing.

“The EEOC will hold corporate America accountable for failing to prevent and correct employment discrimination,” said Commission Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru.

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Posted On: June 10, 2009

Cicero Town President Larry Dominick Accused of Sexual Harassment

Sharon Starzyk a Cicero worker in the town's Animal Welfare Department, alleges in a federal lawsuit that Cicero President Larry Dominick embarked on "an increasingly offensive course" of sexual harassment and sexual assault, which included explicit comments, groping and inappropriate touching. The lawsuit also alleges Dominick sent Starzyk lewd and sexually explicit text message and that Dominick "grabbed and squeezed her breasts" and in one case "picked her up by her crotch."

According to a lawsuit Janidet Lujano, a former auxiliary police sergeant in the town of Cicero, accused Dominick of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching. The lawsuit alleged Dominick repeatedly commented about her breasts. She also said Dominick touched her inappropriately and made sexual comments about her mother.

Starzyk first revealed that she was sexually harassed and assaulted during a recent deposition hearing for the Lujano trial. Moran, Starzyk's attorney said Starzyk didn't want to tell anyone about the incidents in fear of losing her job, which is commonly known as retaliation.

Posted On: June 9, 2009

Student And Diocese Settle Sexual Harassment Case

A sexual harassment lawsuit from over 35 years ago is settled. 54 year old Tom Gust accused typing teacher Bob Krantz of forcing himself on Gust in a supply room in 1970 after keeping him after school. This is a former of school sexual harassment. Gust said school staff hid the abuse and expelled him from school. Gust said he repressed the memories until 2005 when he found out about other allegations on the diocese website.

"I wanted the public to be aware of what goes on behind closed doors and let them know when these victims come forward there's a lot of pain and suffering that you don't hear about. There's therapy, there's attorneys, there's fees and it's very time consuming, expensive and painful" stated Gust.

Gust nor the diocese would discuss the terms of the settlement. In Illinois sexual harassment at an educational institution is Illegal. The educational institution is required to stop the sexual harassment when it becomes aware of the sexual harassment.

Posted On: June 8, 2009

Menards Ordered To Pay $1.5 Million To Settle Discrimination Lawsuit

Dawn Sands, former vice-president and executive general counsel of Menard Inc. was awarded $1.5 million in back pay and damages and rehired at a higher salary according to an arbitration agreement. The case started when Sands was earning $70,000 and she complained, prompting the company to terminate her employment. She filed a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination and retaliation.

Menards appealed the arbitration award and on April 14, 2009 the Wisconsin Third District Court ruled against Menards and upheld the arbitration award. The Court also found Menards in contempt for not rehiring sands and scheduled another hearing to determine damages.

Laws in Illinois provide that gender discrimination occurs if a company terminates or otherwise take an adverse job action against an employee because of the sex of the employee. A companies policies and employment rules must be applied equally to all employees. Policies and employment rules which have a disproportionately adverse impact on one sex are strictly prohibited under both Illinois and Federal law. In short, if you are a female and have the same qualifications of a man and do the same job but get less money you may have a gender based discrimination claim.

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Posted On: June 7, 2009

Jackson Hewitt Tax Managers Accused Of Sexual Harassment

Rebeccas Myers, former employee of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service claims that when she complained that her boss at Jackson & Hewitt sexually harassed her, her boss's boss told her that "since they were alone in his office she could make herself feel better by performing oral sex on him." Myers sued Garfield & Johnson Enterprises dba Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, of Levittown, Pa.; her immediate supervisor, Michael Nolan; and Frank Johnson, a partner or principal of Garfield & Johnson, for sexual harassment and retaliation.

Myers claims that both men sexually harassed her and that Nolan's revolting behavior included asking her for ex, and telling her he wanted to "'lay [her] over a table' and have sex with her."
Myers alleges in her lawsuit that in evaluating her performance, "Nolan wrote in the evaluation, 'Rebecca Myers should experience what Nicole Brown Simpson did.' Nolan had sent this email to Mr. Johnson, who then circulated the evaluation to several other Jackson Hewitt managers and supervisors."

According to the lawsuit when Myers complained to Johnson of this email and of the allegations of sexual harassment, Johnson made the comment about "mak(ing) herself feel better by performing oral sex on him." Myers claims she was constructively discharged.

Posted On: June 5, 2009

EEOC Settles Racial Discrimination Lawsuit With Supermarket for $30,000

West Front Street Foods, a North Carolina supermarket has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") lawsuit involving a white member of staff being allegedly racially discriminated against.

The EEOC alleged that West Front Street Foods fired a white, non-Hispanic meat cutter, from a Compare Foods supermarket in Statesville because of his race and national origin and then replaced him with a Hispanic worker.

Along with paying $30,000, West Front Street Foods shall distribute a formal, written anti-discrimination policy; provide periodic training to all its employees on the policy and on federal law's prohibition against national origin and race discrimination; and send periodic reports to the EEOC concerning employees who are fired or resign.

Posted On: June 4, 2009

Age Discrimination Lawsuit Settles For $50,000

Russell Hack, 73, a former road department worker for Dawes county, says he was forced to retire in 2006 due to his age. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed the age discrimination lawsuit against Dawes County after Hack made his allegations. Hack said his supervisor told him all employees older than 70 years of age were required to take a medical stress test. He further claimed that the supervisor said Hack should retire because he would fail the test. Hack planned to continue driving the county road grader until he turned 75. Under the terms of the settlement Dawes County will pay Hack $50,000 in lost wages, pension benefits and other damages.

According to a press release from the EEOC, Hack retired before taking the stress test, but senior trial attorney Michelle M. Robertson, said no other county road workers were required to submit to the test. The EEOC says the county never implemented the stress test policy after Hack retired. Hack was the only full-time employee in the department over the age of 70 at the time.


Posted On: June 3, 2009

Madison Cultural Arts District Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $10,000

The entity that runs Overture Center will pay $10,000 to a former receptionist Monica Everson, to settle its portion of a federal civil rights lawsuit. Everson filed the lawsuit last fall against the city, former Overture president Bob D’Angelo, the Madison Cultural Arts District, which runs Overture, and other top city officials for allegedly failing to stop sexual harassment by D’Angelo.

In the lawsuit, Everson alleges that D’Angelo "repeatedly subjected her to unwelcome verbal and physical conduct and communication of a sexual nature" during most of the nearly 15 years they worked together at Overture and its predecessor, the Madison Civic Center. Everson is seeking unspecified damages, including back pay, legal fees and punitive damages.

D’Angelo was convicted last year of federal charges for using his city office to run two private businesses that netted hundreds of thousands of dollars. He pleaded guilty to two counts and was sentenced last April to one year and one day in prison.

Posted On: June 2, 2009

Drugstore Chain Settles Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit for $240,000

Duane Reade with more than 200 drugstores in the New York area, agreed to pay $240,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") alleging a pattern of sexual harassment and retaliation at one of its Bronx stores. According to the lawsuit employees faced sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination and employees who complained and filed discrimination charges were retaliated against by being subjected to further harassment by supervisors.

The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan after the commission tried to reach a voluntary settlement with Duane Reade. “This settlement achieves the EEOC's objectives by providing appropriate relief to the victims of sexual harassment while implementing appropriate measures to prevent this kind of violation in the future,” said Spencer H. Lewis, director of the commission’s New York district office. In addition to money damages, the suit had sought improvements in training and other policies.

“The store manager, Madiaw Diaw, frequently made vulgar remarks about women’s private parts, sexually propositioned female employees, made lewd comments about their pregnancies and bodies, assigned unfavorable job duties to pregnant employees and repeatedly grabbed female employees, including grabbing their buttocks,” the EEOC said in a statement.

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Posted On: June 1, 2009

Burger King Pays $85,000 in Teen Worker Sexual Harassment Case

A Clemmons North Carolina Burger King will pay $85,000 to Kathleen Joyner, a teenage employee, who was subject to unwanted touching, sexual advances and requests for sexual favors from the store’s general manager. When Joyner complained about the behavior to assistant managers, they did nothing. As part of the sexual harassment settlement, Burger King will provide sexual harassment training to its supervisors and post its sexual harassment policy in the store. The policy will give employees specific information about how they can file complaints with management.