Maryland-Based Firm’s CEO Put Sexual Pressure on Single Mother and Then Fired Her for Resisting, Federal Agency Charges
WASHINGTON – Key Management Partners, a Greenbelt, Maryland-based consulting firm with government contracts, violated federal law when its chief executive officer (CEO) sexually harassed a female employee and then punished her for resisting, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on Sept. today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Key’s CEO subjected the woman, a single mother, to unwelcome sexual propositioning, and then terminated her because she rejected the advances. The EEOC also charged that the retaliation continued when the company unjustifiably opposed the employee’s application for unemployment benefits and gave a negative job reference on her to a potential employer.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits retaliation and employment discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (Civil Action No. 8:21-cv-02496-PX) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
“Sexual harassment is an abuse of power in the workplace,” said EEOC Philadelphia Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “Too often, subordinates are targeted by persons with authority over them. The EEOC will stand up for such employees in court.”
Mindy E. Weinstein, director of the EEOC’s Washington Field Office, added, “Sexual harassment and retaliation frequently occur in tandem. It is a pernicious scenario that can make future victims of harassment fearful of coming forward. The EEOC takes allegations of retaliation very seriously, and we will continue to fight for employees’ rights to resist unlawful treatment.”
The EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office investigates discrimination charges and prosecutes cases arising out of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, parts of New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.