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CEO Charged by Federal Agency With Persistent Harassment of Women

CLEVELAND — The Alpha Group of Delaware, Inc., a non-profit Ohio corporation located in Delaware, Ohio, will pay $160,000 to settle a sex-based harassment and retaliation lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), announced today. The EEOC had charged that Alpha Group of Delaware, which provides employment, rehabilitation and adult day support services, subjected female workers to a hostile work environment and then retaliated against a high-ranking female executive who had complained about the harassment against women.

The EEOC says in the suit that a former controller and human resources manager of The Alpha Group received complaints of sex-based harassment from female employees concerning a newly hired CEO. Rather than address the hostile workplace, the company let her go after she reported the complaints to the board of directors.

Sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit, No. 2:07cv913, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.

The five-year consent decree settling the suit provides for a monetary settlement to four women. In addition to monetary relief, the decree provides for significant remedial relief, including ensuring supervisor responsibility and accountability by requiring yearly training regarding an employee's rights and the employer's obligations under Title VII – with an emphasis on sex discrimination.

EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence said, “Employers must act swiftly to address and correct discrimination when they become aware of it – which did not happen in this case. If the employer instead does the wrong thing and terminates an employee who complains about harassment, then the EEOC will take action.”

According to its web site, The Alpha Group of Delaware, Inc. is a not-for profit 501-C (3) organization that has provided gainful employment and quality rehabilitation and adult day support services to consumers in the Delaware and surrounding counties in Ohio since 1970.

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