Daily Archives: October 5, 2009

Sears pays $6.2 million to settle discrimination lawsuit

Sears agreed to pay $6.2 million to a former employee who accussed the retailer of workplace discriminationJohn Bava, who worked for Sears as a service technician, was injured on the job and took workers’ compensation leave. 

Although Bava remained disabled, he repeatedly tried to return to work, but Sears chose instead to fire him when his leave expired.

The EEOC also discovered hundreds of instances of other employees who had been fired by Sears after taking workers’ compensation leave instead of trying to help them return to their jobs or find suitable alternative jobs at Sears.

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Employer Retaliation Lawsuits Soar

The Wall Street Joural reports that the number of EEOC lawsuits that include a retaliation charge have increased by 23% since last year, while EEOC claims that didn’t include a retaliation charge rose by 12%.

EEOC representatives and employment lawyers believe that the increase is due to the higher unemployment level and due to the fact that retaliation is usually easier to prove in court than discrimination.

The companies mentioned in the Journal story that have recently been accused or discrimination and/or retaliation are:

Zachry Industrial of New Braunfels, Texas, is being sued for allegedly retaliating against and firing Connie Beseda after she complained about unequal access to bathrooms for women workers.

In August, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against the staffing company Adecco for failing to protect women employees from sexual harassment at one of its client’s factories and for firing the woman who complained to Adecco about the harassment.

Childress Engineering Services of Richardson, Texas, was sued by the EEOC for allegedly retaliating against and firing Jennifer Green for complaining about a hostile work environment that included repeated sexually explicit remarks from male coworkers.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Verizon Pays $300,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Case

Verizon Pennsylvania Inc. has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit that was filed by the EEOC on behalf of Theresa Allen, a former Verizon employee.

Allen alleges that she was subjected to sexual harassment by coworkers.  When she complained to Verizon management about the abusive behavior, which included the posting of sexually inappropriate graffiti and materials at the Verizon Pennsylvania facility, her coworkers retaliated against her and created a hostile work environment.

The EEOC said, “Even though management officials knew about the retaliatory harassment, they did not investigate or take action to stop it. Instead, the company fired Allen in retaliation for her complaints.”

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal

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