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Press Release 12-21-2022

EEOC Sues Enforge, LLC for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Auto Parts Company Fired Employee After Reporting Harassment and Complaining That Coworker Exposed Himself, Federal Agency Charges

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Enforge, LLC, a Michigan-based tie rods and automotive parts company conducting business in North Carolina, violated federal law when it subjected a female employee to a sexually hostile work environment and then fired her for complaining about it, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. The EEOC said that Enforge knew the employee was being harassed but failed to take action to protect her, and then retaliated against her for complaining.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, a female employee was subjected to vulgar sexual comments and unwelcome touching by male coworkers at the Enforge facility in Albemarle, North Carolina from August to October 2020. The employee reported the harassment to the shift supervisor and other managers on several occasions, but her complaints were never addressed, and the harassment continued. When she asked to be moved to a different shift or transferred to a different part of the facility to avoid the harassers, the company denied her request.

In October 2020 the employee reported that a male coworker had exposed himself to her. Management officials told her that she should take a few days off while they looked into the matter and instructed her to call the production manager before returning to work. Although the employee made several attempts to return to work, the production manager did not return her calls and effectively terminated her employment.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects individuals from workplace discrimination and harassment and prohibits retaliation against persons who report discrimination or harassment. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Enforge, LLC, Civil Action No.: 1:22-CV-1115) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary relief for the employee, including back pay, and compensatory and punitive damages. The EEOC also seeks injunctive relief against the company to end any ongoing discrimination and to prevent such unlawful conduct in the future.

“An employer does not have the option of looking the other way when it becomes aware of sexual harassment in the workplace,” said Melinda C. Dugas, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District. “An employer must take prompt and effective action to end the harassment and is prohibited by law from retaliating against employees who report such conduct.”

The EEOC’s Charlotte District has jurisdiction over North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

For more information on sexual harassment, please visit For more information on retaliation, please visit

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