Press Release 04-21-2021

EEOC Sues AMG Specialty Hospital for Sex Harassment by Chief Clinical Officer

Hospital Company Failed to Protect Former Female Director of Case Management from Hostile Work Environment, Federal Agency Charged

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque-AMG Specialty Hospital, LLC and Acadiana Management Group, LLC, operating AMG Specialty Hospital in Albuquerque, N.M., violated federal law by subjecting a former female director of case management, Moriah Smith, to a sexually hostile work environment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. The EEOC further alleges that AMG’s failure to remedy the hostile work environment of this employee ultimately resulted in forcing her to leave the job.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the male chief clinical officer at AMG sexually harassed Smith by subjecting her to repeated sexual verbal comments, sexually explicit texts to her work cell phone, and unwanted physical touching at work. In response to a complaint, AMG concluded the alle­gations were unsubstantiated. The EEOC charges that AMG’s failure to prevent or remedy the harassment created intolerable working conditions for Smith, which forced her to resign.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex harassment as a form of sex discrimination. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico (EEOC v. Albuquerque-AMG Specialty Hospital, LLC and Acadiana Management Group, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:21-cv-00363) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process. The lawsuit seeks back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the charging party, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent sexual harassment and sex-based discriminatory practices in the future.

“Employers are responsible for preventing and remedying the sexual harassment and discrimination of its emp­loyees,” said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office. “Employers will be held responsible when they do not protect employees from   harassment and when they fail to conduct appropriate internal investigations.”

Elizabeth Cadle, district director of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, added, “Employers must take complaints of sex harassment seriously, investigate them thoroughly and appropriately, and make sure that the employees who bring these EEO complaints feel safe after reporting the harassing conduct.”

EEOC’s Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and part of New Mexico (including Albuquerque).

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.