Sugar Land Company Charged With Subjecting Female Employee to Sexual Harassment and Retaliatory Termination After She Complained
HOUSTON - Element Plastics Mfg., LLC, a plastics manufacturer based in Sugar Land, Texas, has settled a sex harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
In its lawsuit, the EEOC alleged that Element Plastics violated federal law by subjecting a female employee to a hostile work environment and then firing her in retaliation for complaining about the sexual harassment.
Specifically, the EEOC's lawsuit (Civil Action No. 4:19-cv-02218) charged that the employee was subjected to sexually harassing comments, unwelcome touching, and other improper and sexually hostile conduct. The EEOC further charged that a few weeks after she complained about the harassment to her direct supervisor and a manager, she was terminated in retaliation for making the complaint.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 4:19-cv-02218) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
"Sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace cannot and will not be tolerated," said Rudy Sustaita, the EEOC's regional attorney in Houston. "The EEOC will continue to enforce federal law against such discriminatory and illegal misconduct."
Connie Gatlin, the EEOC's senior trial attorney in charge of the case, added, "We appreciate that Element Plastics was willing to come to the table to resolve this matter."
The terms of the agreement were set forth in a consent decree signed and entered by U.S. District Judge David Hittner on Jan. 25. The settlement requires the company to pay $35,000 to compensate the discrimination victim and prohibits Element Plastics from engaging in similar discriminatory conduct in the future. In addition, the company must develop and implement policies and procedures to address illegal discrimination, harassment and retaliation, including complaint procedures and guidelines for investigating complaints of discrimination.
The EEOC's Houston District Office is located on the sixth floor of the Leland Federal Building at 1919 Smith St. in Houston.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.