Company’s Owner Subjected a Female Employee to Sexist Comments, Then Fired Her for Opposing It, Federal Agency Charged
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Great Rentals and Events, LLC, doing business as Great Events, a San Antonio special events company which provides services for weddings and corporate functions, will pay $20,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a federal sex-based harassment and retaliation suit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.
According to the suit, the company’s owner repeatedly subjected a female employee to comments that were demeaning to women, including sexual comments and other remarks that expressed hostility towards women in the workplace. After the employee sought the help of human resources, the owner fired her in retaliation for her complaints, the EEOC charged.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, including harassment. Title VII also prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee because she opposed discrimination or harassment. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division (EEOC v. Great Rentals and Events, LLC, Case No. 5:20-cv-448), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree resolving the case provides the former employee with back pay and compensatory damages of $20,000. The decree also provides for injunctive relief, including anti-discrimination training and posting of notices in the workplace.
“Unlawful sex-based harassment includes not only unwelcome sexual conduct, but also gender-based animosity, including sexist comments,” said Philip Moss, trial attorney for the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office. “This settlement should underscore the importance of employers taking the necessary steps to protect their employees from workplace harassment and comply with anti-discrimination laws.”
Eduardo Juarez, supervisory trial attorney of the San Antonio Field Office, added, “The EEOC has long emphasized combatting retaliation against employees for exercising their protected rights. Employees should not have to fear retaliation from their employer when they take steps to address workplace harassment and discrimination.”
The San Antonio Field Office is part of the EEOC’s Dallas District Office, which is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and agency litigation in Texas and parts of New Mexico.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.