School Fired Male Employee Because of His Age and Gender, Federal Agency Charges
MILWAUKEE - Renaissance School, Inc., of Racine, Wis., an owner and operator of government-funded private schools, violated federal law by firing an employee because it considered him too old for his job and because he is male, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to Julianne Bowman, acting director of the EEOC's Chicago District, which includes Wisconsin, the agency's investigation revealed that Renaissance School discriminated against Boro Bosovich by firing him in September 2013 because of his age and sex.
Bowman said the EEOC found that, after hiring Bosovich as a principal/supervisor and learning that he had retired from a prior job, Renaissance School's owners began questioning his fitness for the job and making comments related to his age. Ultimately, they fired him a few days after hiring him. In addition, Bowman said, the EEOC found that, during the few days Renaissance School employed Bosovich, at least one of its owners made gender-discriminatory comments, implying that females were more desirable as employees because they were more passive.
Renaissance School's alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which prohibits employers from taking adverse actions against employees and job applicants 40 and older based on age, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from taking adverse actions against employees and job applicants based on sex.
The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks back pay, reinstatement or front pay in lieu of reinstatement, and compensatory, punitive, and liquidated damages for Bosovich, an order barring future discrimination and retaliation, and other relief. The lawsuit, captioned EEOC v. Renaissance School, Inc., (Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-00411-JPS), was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and assigned to U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller.
"Employers must recognize that employees can contribute to our economy at any age and that they must treat men and women equally," said EEOC Chicago Regional Attorney John C. Hendrickson. "The EEOC will make sure Renaissance School gets the message."
According to its website, Renaissance School's facilities include the largest school in the Racine Parental Choice Program, operated since 2014 by Lutheran Urban Mission Initiative, Inc. (LUMIN), and a daycare and preschool education center in Kenosha County that it describes as one of the county's largest, most highly rated early education learning environments.
The EEOC's Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Attorneys in the Milwaukee Area Office will litigate the case.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the agency is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov .