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Press Release 09-26-2018

Anna's Care, Inc Sued by EEOC For Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Multiple Female Employees Sexually Harassed By Male Employee Of Mental Health Provider, Federal Agency Charges

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - Anna's Care, Inc. (Anna's Care), a mental health provider based in Jacksonville, N.C., violated federal law when it subjected female employees to a sexually hostile work environment, and fired one of the women when she complained, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, from at least October 2016 through December 2016, a male paraprofessional employee of the Anna's Care's day program facility located in Jacksonville, N.C. sexually harassed female employees. The EEOC's complaint charged that Shiriece Hannah, Brenda Parker and other female employees were subjected to sexual comments and touching by the male co-worker. For example, the co-worker asked Hannah if she was wearing panties, and speculated as to Parker's bra size. The co-worker also cornered Hannah while she was alone in an office and attempted to kiss her. Hannah complained about the co-worker's conduct on January 3, 2017, and was fired the following day.

The EEOC brought the suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation against employees who complain about it. The EEOC sued after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The case (EEOC v. Anna's Care, Inc., Civil Action No. 7:18-cv-00172) was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, on September 26, 2018. The EEOC is seeking full relief, including back pay, reinstatement, compensatory damages, punitive damages and injunctive relief.

"All workers have the right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment," said Kara G. Haden, acting regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District Office. "No one should have to put up with sexual comments or unwanted touching while they are at work. In addition, employers must remember they cannot retaliate against an employee for complaining about sexual harassment."

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.