Employers pay $154K to settle age, disability discrimination suits; two new suits allege sexual harassment
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Employers pay $154K to settle age, disability discrimination suits; two new suits allege sexual harassment

By Pamela Wolf, J.D.

Lawsuits challenged the employment practices of businesses in the aerospace, defense, arms, security and advanced technologies; rest area maintenance; senior care services; and medical transport industries.

The EEOC has separately announced the settlement of two disability and age discrimination lawsuits, recovering a combined $154,139 for affected employees. The federal antidiscrimination agency has also filed two unrelated lawsuits alleging sexual harassment of workers and retaliation for reporting the misconduct.

Failed to accommodate disability. Lockheed Martin Corporation and Lockheed Martin Enterprise Operations will pay $115,000 and provide other relief to settle allegations that it violated the ADA when the aerospace, defense, arms, security and advanced technologies company refused to grant a former administrative assistant at its Crystal City, Virginia, facility reasonable accommodations for her disability.

Lockheed Martin purportedly failed to engage in the required interactive process with the disabled employee to identify and provide reasonable accommodations, and instead placed her on long-term disability leave and eventually fired her. According to the EEOC, because of her disability and in retaliation for her opposing to discrimination, Lockheed Martin refused to reassign or rehire her to vacant positions for which she was qualified.

The two-year consent decree resolving the suit also requires Lockheed Martin to provide specialized training on reasonable accommodation processes to managers and HR; post a notice of employee rights under the ADA; and report employee reasonable accommodation requests to the EEOC.

The EEOC filed its lawsuit in District of Maryland; the case is No. 8:18-cv-02976.

Older workers replaced by younger ones. Liberty Support Services, Inc., a Raleigh-based North Carolina corporation that maintains state-owned rest areas through contracts with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, has agreed to pay $39,139 and provide other relief to resolve charges that it violated the ADEA when it fired or refused to rehire four rest area attendants employed at the Cherokee County Rest Area based on their age.

In 2016, the state closed the rest area for renovations, with attendants expected to return to their jobs when renovations were completed. Five months later, the attendants—all over age 40—learned that they had been discharged and replaced with substantially younger workers, according to the EEOC, which asserted that Liberty Support discharged or failed to rehire the employees because of their respective ages.

Under the three-year consent decree settling the suit, Liberty Support also must adopt an antidiscrimination policy; provide training for its owners and employees on the ADEA and its prohibition against discrimination in the workplace because of age; post an employee notice about the lawsuit and employee rights under federal discrimination laws; and provide periodic reports to the EEOC on its applicant pool and hiring during the decree’s duration.

The EEOC brought its lawsuit in the Western District of North Carolina, Asheville Division; the case is No. 1:19-cv-00204.

Sexual harassment by clients. A new EEOC lawsuit alleges that SSC Montrose San Juan Operating Co., LLC, SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services, LLC, and Sava Senior Care LLC violated Title VII by tolerating the sexual harassment of female employees by Sava’s clients at the San Juan Living Center in Montrose, Colorado.

Allegedly, clients at the San Juan Living Center repeatedly subjected female employees to sexual harassment, including grabbing female employees’ breasts and buttocks, asking them for sexual favors, and using inappropriate sexual language around them. Female employees purportedly complained about the harassment to Sava management, and Sava was aware of the ongoing harassment. However, Sava did nothing to stop the harassment or prevent future harassment, the EEOC contends.

Sava also allegedly retaliated against a female employee who reported the harassment by suspending her without pay and firing her within days of her complaint.

The EEOC filed its lawsuit in the District of Colorado; the case is No. 20-CV-03162.

Manager sexually harassed female paramedics. MedicOne Medical Response, an independent medical transport company providing ambulance services, violated Title VII when it failed to correct ongoing sexual harassment at its Nashville, Tennessee, branch and retaliated against a woman who complained about the harassment, according to a new EEOC lawsuit.

The federal agency contends that the company’s operations manager repeatedly subjected female paramedics to unwelcome sexual advances, comments, and touching. Allegedly, the manager routinely massaged his female subordinates’ shoulders, made inappropriate comments about their bodies, and requested sex in exchange for better work hours. He also purportedly sent inappropriate pictures of himself to a subordinate and told her he wanted to have sex. When a woman complained of the harassing behavior, MedicOne allegedly fired her soon after her complaint.

The EEOC brought its lawsuit in the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division; the case is No. 3:20-cv-00912.

Companies: Lockheed Martin Corporation; Lockheed Martin Enterprise Operations; Liberty Support Services, Inc.; SSC Montrose San Juan Operating Co., LLC; SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services, LLC; Sava Senior Care LLC; MedicOne Medical Response

News: AgencyNews Discrimination Discharge AgeDiscrimination DisabilityDiscrimination SexDiscrimination SexualHarassment Retaliation

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