Macon Custodial Company Fired Woman for Reporting CEO's Verbal and Physical Abuse, Federal Agency Charged
ATLANTA - Home Companions Plus, Inc., doing business as Angels at Home, a custodial and personal care service operating throughout central Georgia and headquartered in Macon, Ga., will pay $16,000 to an employee to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
In its lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia (Civil Action No. 5:11-CV-390), the EEOC charged that the CEO of Angels at Home subjected one of his employees, a female officer manager, to sexual harassment at the Macon facility. The EEOC said that the CEO subjected the employee to repeated crude, comments of a sexual nature, as well as unwanted physical contact. When the employee complained, the EEOC said, Angels at Home retaliated by terminating her.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from subjecting employees to discrimination on the basis of sex and from retaliating against employees who complain about such discrimination. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree settling the suit, in addition to the monetary relief, includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training and reporting, and posting of anti-discrimination notices. In the lawsuit and consent decree, Angels at Home denied any liability or wrongdoing.
"The EEOC is pleased that Angels at Home agreed to resolve this matter and to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the law. This is a further reminder that employers must protect their workers from harassment and not punish them when they complain," said Bernice Williams Kimbrough, district director for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office.
Eliminating policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statues, or that impede the EEOC's investigative or enforcement efforts, is one of national priorities identified by the agency's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.