A Los Angeles-based insurance company servicing policyholders in 12 states will pay $30,000 and furnish other relief to settle an unlawful retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
According to the EEOC lawsuit, the Charlotte, N.C., facility of Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company demoted an employee from associate sales manager to the position of sales associate in retaliation for reporting a complaint of sexual harassment he received from an employee he supervised.
The complaint report was made to a vice president and agency director of the company. The EEOC also charged the employee was demoted in retaliation after he informed the alleged harasser, who was his supervisor, that he had reported the complaint.
Such retaliation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit on March 16, 2009 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 3:09-cv-105, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
In addition to requiring Golden State to pay $30,000 to the worker, a one-year consent decree resolving the case enjoins Golden State from engaging in any further retaliation against employees based on their opposition to unlawful employment practices or employment practices which the employee reasonably believes to be unlawful under the federal EEO statutes enforced by the EEOC.
The company will also provide a positive letter of reference to the employee, redistribute a copy of its written anti-discrimination policy to each of its employees, and make periodic reports to the EEOC. (workersxzcompxzkit)
“Employees should be confident they can make their employers aware of violations of federal anti-discrimination laws without fear of reprisal,” said Lynette Barnes, regional attorney of EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “The anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII are indispensable to the attainment of a workplace free of discrimination.”
Author Rebecca Shafer, J.D. Consultant, President, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers’ Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, manufacturing, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. She can be contacted at: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
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