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Delta Family Health And Fitness Center Sued By EEOC For Retaliation

Federal Agency Charges Arkansas Facility Fired Four Employees in Connection With Complaints About Discriminatory Practices

LITTLE  ROCK, Ark. – Delta Family Health and Fitness Center  for Children, Inc. in Hamburg,  Ark., violated federal law by  firing four employees who were involved in the filing of several discrimination  complaints, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in  a lawsuit announced today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, two  employees were terminated after one of them made a complaint of sexual  harassment and named the other employee as a witness to the harassment. Two other employees were fired after they  claimed they were paid less because of their race and/or gender and after they  filed charges of discrimination with the Commission. Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of  the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating  against employees for complaining of alleged discriminatory practices in the  workplace or because they filed a charge with the EEOC.

“Workers need to be free to alert  their managers or the EEOC about discrimination they experience or witness in  the workplace,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “When an employer ‘punishes the messenger’ by  firing an employee who speaks up about discrimination, the employer is  violating federal law. The EEOC is here  to root out and rectify this kind of illegal retaliation.”

The lawsuit against  Delta was filed by the EEOC in U.S. District Court for the Western District of  Arkansas (Civil Action No. 1:09-cv-01058) after first attempting to reach a  voluntary settlement. The suit seeks  monetary relief in the form of back pay and compensatory and punitive damages,  reinstatement and an injunction against future discrimination.

“The EEOC is especially concerned  when employees are terminated simply for com­plaining about what they believe  to be discriminatory employment practices," said Katharine W. Kores,  district director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction  over Arkansas and Tennessee  and 17 counties in Northern Mississippi. “Employees must be able to voice their  concerns about employment without the  fear, justified in this case, that they will be terminated for that concern.”

Delta operates a psychiatric  residential treatment center for adolescents in Hamburg, Ark. The facility opened in September of 2007.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment  discrimination. Further information about  the EEOC is available on its web site at