Then Fired Her After She Complained, Federal Agency Alleged
RALEIGH, N.C. - Safelite Glass Co., the nation's leading provider of auto glass repair and replacement services, will pay $50,000 and furnish other relief to settle a federal lawsuit for sexual harassment and retaliation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.
The EEOC's lawsuit against Safelite charged that Lee Laraviere-Steele, who worked as a human resources assistant at Safelite's facility in Enfield, N.C., was subjected to unwelcome sexual comments and touching by the facility's human resources manager (EEOC v. Safelite Glass Co., Civil Action No. 4:10cv102, in the Eastern District of North Carolina). The lawsuit further alleged that when Laraviere-Steele complained about the sexual harassment in March 2008, the company failed to take action to stop the harassment, but rather retaliated against Laraviere-Steele by firing her.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment or other types of employment discrimination.
In addition to paying Lee Laraviere-Steele monetary damages, the consent decree settling the suit requires Safelite to provide annual training on sex discrimination and retaliation, post a notice concerning employees' rights under Title VII, and provide periodic reports to the EEOC concerning how the company responded to complaints that it received, if any, concerning inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace. Safelite must also provide periodic reports to the EEOC concerning how it responded to any complaints it received about any other type of discrimination covered by Title VII.
"Once an employee complains about sexual harassment by a supervisor in the workplace, the employer is required under federal law to take appropriate action to stop it," said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney of the EEOC's Charlotte District. "Also, employers must ensure that employees are protected from retaliation after complaints are made."
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.