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Sexual Harassment Victim Fired In Retaliation For Complaining About Harassment EEOC Lawsuit Charges

セクシャルハラスメントを受ける女性

On January 12, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release announcing that it has filed a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against Route 22 Sports Bar, Inc. (RSB) and Crazy Mexican Restaurant & Grill, LLC (CMR). On January 11, 2021, the EEOC filed the lawsuit, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Route 22 Sports Bar, Inc. and Crazy Mexican Restaurant & Grill, LLC,  Case No. 5:21-cv-00007, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. Before commencing legal proceedings in federal court, the EEOC sought to resolve the alleged unlawful employment practices through its statutorily mandated conciliation process. Unable to resolve the case through conciliation, the EEOC elected to remedy the alleged unlawful employment practices through litigation.

Legal Rights Of Sexual Harassment Victims

The EEOC has brought the retaliation lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) on behalf of a former employee of RSB and CMR, Madelene Billick (Billick). Title VII, which is the foundation of the federal government’s efforts to eradicate discriminatory employment practices from the American workplace, makes sexual harassment which is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create a hostile working environment an unlawful employment practice. In order to protect employee rights, Title VII also contains an anti-retaliation provision. Under Title VII, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who complain about perceived sexual harassment in the workplace.

The EEOC claims that RSB and CMR violated Title VII by requiring Billick to work in a sexually hostile work environment. The EEOC further claims that RSB and CMR violated Title VII by firing Billick in retaliation for complaining about the hostile work environment sexual harassment she endured.

Sexually Harassed & Fired For Complaining

In September 2019, Billick began working at CMR as a server and bartender. In October 2019, Billick began working at RSB as a bartender. While working at each restaurant, Billick was supervised by an owner of CMR and RSB. From September 2019 until she was fired on December 29, 2019, according to the EEOC, Billick was subjected to a sustained campaign of unwanted sexually harassing behavior from the owner and other male employees. The owner’s alleged sexual harassment of Billick included sexual touching, offering to pay her for sex, requesting a kiss, and spreading false rumors to employees that he had paid her for sex. The alleged sexual harassment of Billick by male co-workers included touching her breasts, kissing her shoulder, and pulling her close to them against her will.

On December 28, 2019, according to the EEOC, Billick reported all of the owner’s sexually harassing behavior to another owner of CMR and RSB. The next day, Billick received a text message from the harassing owner demanding to know what she told the other owner. Billick told the harassing owner not to text her unless it was work-related. The harassing owner then terminated Billick’s employment. On January 1, 2020, Billick attempted to report for her next shift at the restaurant, but she was locked out of the computer system. That day, Billick was told that she was fired because the owner denied the harassment.

Attorneys For Sexual Harassment Victims

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States charged by federal law with interpreting and enforcing federal employment and labor laws prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In fulfilling its statutory mandate to protect employees from unlawful employment practices from the American workplace, the EEOC files lawsuits on behalf of employment discrimination victims, including sexual harassment and retaliation victims. In a press release issued by the EEOC on January 12, 2021 regarding the case, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, Debra M. Lawrence, observed that “unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to be prevalent in the restaurant industry.” “The EEOC is committed,” Ms. Lawrence added, “to protecting service-industry workers from abuse and exploitation because of their sex.” In commenting on the case, the Director of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, Jamie R. Williamson, explained that “all employees have the right to earn a living without being subjected to sexual harassment and to complain about unwelcome sexual harassment without being fired in retaliation.”

Sexual Harassment Lawyers In Ocala, FL

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida attorneys for sexual harassment victims have been fighting for the rights of sexual harassment victims in Florida courts for more than two decades. If you have been required to work in a sexually hostile work environment or have questions about your rights as a sexual harassment victim, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida lawyers for sexual harassment victims. Our civil rights law firm takes sexual harassment 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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