Things blow up after company punished female employee for complaining about unlawful discrimination and hostile work environment.[wc_divider style=”dotted” line=”single” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=””]
A male site superintendent at the Brunswick Nuclear Power Plant in South Carolina harassed a female planner who was hired to address a power outage. She notified company management, and according to her complaint, the site superintendent created a hostile work environment by being “aggressive, intimidating, sarcastic, and condescending” with her because she was a woman.
To the company’s credit, a vice president completed a relatively prompt investigation into the female worker’s complaint. To the company’s discredit, the Vice President fired her two days later.
The EEOC announced a settlement with the company on April 27, 2015. The company must pay $65,000 to the victim who was fired in retaliation for filing a complaint of workplace discrimination.
Retaliation against workers who lodge claims of workplace discrimination is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[wc_box color=”secondary” text_align=”left”]
Why do Workplaces Attack? Learn more about the Psychology of Workplace Retaliation. LEARN MORE[/wc_box]
Monetary fine: $65,000
- Provide annual training to all supervisors, managers, and employees, to prevent future retaliation.
- Provide names of employees who complained about discrimination and who were thereafter subjected to adverse employment actions.
- Post a notice regarding workers’ rights protected by the EEOC.
Lessons Learned from EEOC v. Newport News Industrial Corporation
- When a worker has lodged a discrimination claim, an employer must be very cautious about any action that might be perceived as an adverse workplace action (such as termination or demotion) – even after concluding an investigation.
- Document, investigate, and resolve every claim of discrimination.
- Consider hiring third-party investigators to probe discrimination claims.