Employment Updates: Sexual Harassment, Improper Training, and Pregnancy Discrimination

EEOC Sues Washington Based Company for Sexual Harassment 

            The EEOC has alleged that the top executive at a Washington based company violated federal law in which they subjected female employees to ongoing sexual harassment which forced one woman at the company to resign.  The suit claims that three former employees, and current female employees faced ongoing sexual harassment which included: lewd sexual comments, questions about intimate matters, derogatory remarks towards females, and screaming and name calling.  Many of the woman felt bullied, so they were too afraid to report the offensive behavior.  The company did not have an outlet for employees to report misconduct. 

         Sexual harassment laws apply to everyone in the workplace, especially the leader.  Sexual harassment and forced resignation violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC was created to support workers for reasons like these.  It is the worker’s right to be free from discrimination and harassment in the workplace.  The EEOC enforces federal laws which prohibit employment discrimination.

 More information is available at www.eeoc.gov

 OSHA Fines Illinois Plant and Two Staffing Firms

             Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Stampede Meat Inc., of Illinois, for failing to train workers, which included temporary workers, about hazardous chemicals, which exposes workers to a variety of dangers in the workplace.  The fine for this penalty is $45,500.

             OSHA also cited two staffing firms, which provide nearly 1,200 employees to the meat packing plant.  Reliable Staffing Services were cited for exposing employees to hazards including ammonia, nitrogen, and chlorine dioxide.  The firm is claimed to have not provided information or training on the hazardous chemicals. 

             The second staffing firm, Accurate Personnel, was cited for exposing it’s employees to hazards including fire and ammonia without the proper training on the host’s emergency action plan.                             

 Both of the staffing firms face fines of $14,000.

 Employment Offer Rescinded due to Pregnancy 

            The EEOC has charged National Mentor Healthcare, LLC, dba Georgia Mentor of violating federal law by rescinding a job offer due to a pregnancy.  The suit claims that Lisa Sullivan applied for a position with the company, was offered the position, which she then accepted.  The same day that she accepted the position, she explained that she was pregnant.  The following day, the job was posted again and a male candidate was hired, in which they told Sullivan to pursue other options.

            Pregnancy discrimination violates Title VII or the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  One of the six national priorities of the EEOC is to eliminate barriers like these in recruitment.