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Press Release 09-29-2023

EEOC Sues ResourceOne for Harassment Based on Genetic Information, Race, National Origin

Federal Agency Charges Printing Distribution Company Supervisor Called Employee ‘Ape,’ ‘Congo,’ and Other Slurs After Viewing DNA Results

ST. LOUIS – Worldwide Printing and Distribution, Inc. doing business as ResourceOne, a commercial printing, direct mailing and direct marketing company operating out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, violated federal law when a supervisor harassed her with racial and national origin slurs after the employee shared her DNA ancestry results, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, in or around August 2022, the employee received results from an at-home DNA test kit showing she had ancestry from Cameroon and the Congo. When the worker’s supervisor learned about her DNA results, the supervisor began calling her names such as “ape” and “Congo.” The supervisor also began mocking the employee, saying she was “swinging through trees” and was an “ape princess” looking for a “king.” On one occasion, the supervisor asked the employee if she wanted greens when coworkers were getting lunch.

The employee repeatedly asked the supervisor to stop the harassment to no avail, the EEOC said. When the employee complained about the harassment to a higher-level manager, he participated in the harassment and did nothing to stop it. The EEOC charges that the harassment was so intolerable the employee was forced to resign. But not even her resignation stopped the harassment – according to the suit, the supervisor obtained the employee’s phone number and sent her a text calling her “Congo” following her resignation, the EEOC said.

Such alleged conduct violates the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits discrimination and harassment in the workplace based on genetic information, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination and harassment based on national origin and race, whether actual or perceived. The EEOC filed suit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Worldwide Printing and Distributing, Inc. d/b/a ResourceOne, Civil Action No. 23-cv-00419) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement via its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary relief for the victim, an order prohibiting similar discrimination and harassment, and other relief.

“As more people choose to learn about their ancestry through DNA testing, they should not worry that this information will be used to create an unlawful hostile environment at work,” said Andrea G. Baran, regional attorney for the EEOC’s St. Louis District office. “Employers must protect their workers from this form of harassment.”

David Davis, director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District office, said, “Offensive name-calling and slurs have no place on the job -- or anywhere -- regardless of whether they are based on people’s skin color, country of origin, or DNA test results.”

The EEOC’s St. Louis District Office is responsible for receiving and investigating charges of employment discrimination and conducting agency litigation in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and a portion of southern Illinois, with area offices in Kansas City, Kansas, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

More information about unlawful harassment is available at More information about discrimination based on genetic information is available at

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