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DynCorp International Sued For Sex-Based Harassment And Retaliation

Male Employee Subjected to Male Co-worker’s Derogatory Sexual Comments

ALEXANDRIA, VA. – DynCorp International, LLC, a United  States based private military contractor and aircraft maintenance company,  violated federal law by subjecting a male employee to a hostile work  environment based on his sex, and by transferring him after he complained, the  U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed  today.

According to the EEOC’s complaint,  from October 2006 through January 2007, James Friso, an aircraft sheet  metal/structural mechanic working in Taji,  Iraq, was  subjected to harassment based on his sex by a male co-worker. The lawsuit alleges the harassment included  daily derogatory sex-based comments, accusations that Friso is gay and engaged  in homosexual acts, and descriptions of homosexual acts. Friso, who is heterosexual, is 5’4” and of  small stature. He is married, and the  co-worker knew that Friso is married and is not homosexual.

The lawsuit alleges that despite this knowledge, the harasser subjected  Friso to the harassment because Friso did not match the gender stereotype for a  man. Although Friso complained to  DynCorp’s management and human resources representatives about the co-worker’s  unwelcome and offensive conduct, the harassment continued until Frisco was  transferred to another work site. The  complaint alleges that Friso’s transfer was in retaliation for his complaints  about the harassment.

DynCorp receives more than 96  percent of its $2 billion in annual revenues from the federal government. It employed approximately 16,800 people in  2009.

Sex-based harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and violates  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of  Virginia, Alexandria Division (Equal  Employment Opportunity Commission v. DynCorp  International, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-874) after first attempting to  reach a voluntary settlement. The agency  seeks back pay for Friso, along with compensatory and punitive damages, and  injunctive relief.

“Employers need  to remember that sex discrimination includes harassment based on sexual  stereotyping. Once an employee complains  of sex-based harassment in the workplace, the employer is required under  federal law to act reasonably to prevent further harassment,” said Lynette A. Barnes,  regional attorney for EEOC’s Charlotte  District, whose jurisdiction includes  the state of Virginia. “Furthermore, federal law forbids employers  from retaliating against employees who report sexual harassment. The EEOC will aggressively prosecute cases  where the employer turns a blind eye to known sexual harassment or retaliates  against the victim for complaining.”

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