Posted On: January 12, 2010 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Crowell Pays $21,500 To Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Crowell will pay $21,500 to settle a sexual harassment and constructive discharge lawsuit filed on behalf of Deanna Collins by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to court papers Crowell Contract and Design, Inc. subjected Deanna Collins to a hostile work environment. The basis of the hostile work environment was when Timmy Christopher who is the president and co-owner of the company would tug on Collins’ pants and made multiple threats to Collins to pull down her pants.

In a remarkable act of stupidity, Christopher pulled Collins pants down in front of her co-workers which resulted in her great embarrassment and humiliation. Collins could no longer take this and other forms of sexual harassment and quit her position. A constructive discharge occurs when circumstances get so bad and a hostile work environment exists that forces an employee to quit; as it what happened here. It is not very often that a president of a company engages in such blatant sexual harassment and does so in front of witnesses.

“This settlement should serve as a notice to employers that the EEOC does not consider the threat or the act of pulling a woman’s pants down in the workplace to be a sophomoric prank,” said Robert A. Canino, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Dallas District Office.

Along with the money payment Crowell will take corrective measures to ensure it does not discriminate against any other employees in the future. Some of these measures include providing training to all employees on sexual harassment and posting notices about the details of the settlement. In Illinois men in leadership positions of companies engage in sexual harassment and many times employees are afraid to report it. It is important to protect your rights in employment and stick up for yourself.

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