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Employee Unlawfully Fired In Retaliation For Discrimination Complaint EEOC Lawsuit Charges

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Having represented retaliation victims for more than twenty years, our Ocala, Florida retaliatory discharge attorneys know that employers often punish employees who complain about perceived discrimination in the workplace. As the U.S. Supreme Court observed in Crawford v. Metropolitan Gov. of Nashville & Davidson County, 555 U.S. 217 (2009), “fear of retaliation is the leading reason why people stay silent instead of voicing their concerns about bias and discrimination.” In this article, our Marion County, Florida retaliatory discharge lawyers explain how a recent retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) illustrates the broad protection afforded by the federal employment laws to employees who complain about perceived discrimination at work.

Legal Rights Of Retaliation Victims

In a press release issued on March 31, 2021, the EEOC announced that it has filed a retaliatory discharge lawsuit against DBBH Holdings, Inc., operating as David’s Trash Service (DBBH). On March 31, 2021, the EEOC filed the retaliation lawsuit, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. DBBH Holdings, Inc., d/b/a David’s Trash Service, Case No. 4:21-cv-00037, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The EEOC has commenced the retaliatory discharge pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) on behalf of a former employee of DBBH, Danielle Spruill (Spruill). Under Title VII, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex. In order to protect employment discrimination victims, Title VII also contains an anti-retaliation provision. Under Title VII, it is unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees who complain about perceived discrimination in the workplace, including perceived sex discrimination. The EEOC claims that DBBH violated Title VII by firing Spruill in retaliation for complaining about perceived sex discrimination in the workplace.

Employee Alleges Retaliatory Discharge

In May 2015, DBBH hired Spruill as a driver working out of its facility in Washington, North Carolina. Throughout her employment, Spruill was aware of offensive comments about her sex and sexual orientation made by the Shop Manager, including gender epithets. Spruill repeatedly complained about the Shop Manager’s conduct to the General Manager and Office Manager. However, according to the EEOC, the managers never took any corrective action and the sex-based and sexual orientation-based offensive comments by the Shop Manager continued unabated.

On January 12, 2018, Spruill entered her assigned truck and discovered that several personal items she had left in the truck were missing. Spruill subsequently learned that the Shop Manager had driven her assigned truck the previous truck and had thrown away Spruill’s personal possessions. On January 15, 2018, Spruill met with the President and General Manager to discuss the Shop Manager throwing away her personal possessions. During the meeting, Spruill complained that the Shop Manager threw away her personal possessions because of his sex-based discriminatory bias against her.

Later that same day, Spruill told the President that the Shop Manager had been harassing her and creating a hostile work environment. Spruill asked the President if he was aware of the EEOC and Title VII and the laws against harassment. The President told Spruill that he knew employment law and that Spruill was only entitled to protection if he, as the company’s owner, was harassing Spruill. On February 9, 2018, the President fired Spruill. The President told Spruill that he was terminating her employment because she had threatened the company with the EEOC.

Fighting For Retaliation Victims

The EEOC, which is an administrative agency of the federal government and created by Title VII, is charged with interpreting and enforcing the federal labor laws making discrimination, harassment, and retaliation unlawful employment practices. In seeking to fulfill its statutory mission to protect and vindicate employee rights, the EEOC files lawsuits in federal court on behalf of retaliatory discharge victims. In a press release issued by the EEOC on March 31, 2021, regarding the case, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, Melinda Dugas, stated that “employees have a legal right to work in an environment free from unlawful discriminatory conduct and harassment.” “Employees who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed,” Ms. Dugas explained, “have a right to raise those issues with their employer, and they have a right to do so without fear of losing their jobs or experiencing another form of retaliation.” “Employers who retaliate against employees who assert their legal rights,” Ms. Dugas added, “must be held accountable for their actions, and it is the EEOC’s responsibility to secure that accountability.”

Retaliatory Discharge Attorneys In Ocala, FL

Based in Ocala, Florida, and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida retaliatory discharge lawyers have represented retaliatory discharge victims for more than two decades. If you have been retaliated against for exercising your employee rights or have questions about your protection from retaliation under the federal employment laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida retaliatory discharge attorneys. Our employment and labor law attorneys take retaliatory discharge cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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