United Companies Pays $498,000 To Settle Gender Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit
United Companies will pay $498,000 to settle a gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit which was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of a female worker who court documents did not name. According to details in the lawsuit the woman has been working for the company since 1998 and held a variety of jobs before the company assigned her to work as a quality control technician. According to documents in the lawsuit once in that position the gender discrimination against her became overt and interfered with her ability to work.
In a big help for the female worker several male co-workers saw and overheard the gender discrimination and degrading treatment and backed her up when she complained to management. The female did complain about the gender discrimination to management and the men did back her up. Even the men thought they would be the subject of retaliation for supporting the female worker in her harassment claim. The company ended up terminated the female and two of her male supported but not before the department manager called the men troublemakers and told them they better shut up.
“Employers have a responsibility to maintain an environment free of sex discrimination and retaliation,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill. “Here, the managers themselves committed both those offenses.
Management is in place to ensure discrimination does not take place and in this case management was engaging in the harassment. I see a lot of cases similar to this in Illinois and especially in the Chicago area. Employees or former employees must protect their employment rights and seek all available remedies if they are the victims of gender discrimination, retaliation or sexual harassment.