Cleaning Company Fired Employee for Complaining About Abuse, Federal Agency Charged
LOUISVILLE – Total Maintenance Solutions, Inc., a Cincinnati-area company that specializes in commercial cleaning and construction clean-up, will pay $22,500 to a former female employee and implement other relief to settle a federal sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC lawsuit, Total Maintenance Solutions, through its male owner, forced the employee to endure sexual harassment, including unwanted touching, sexual comments, overtures and ogling. The employee complained repeatedly about the sexually hostile work environment and was subsequently fired for her complaints, the EEOC said.
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964. The EEOC filed the lawsuit (Case No. 1:18-cv-00413-MRB) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree resolving the case provides the former employee with back pay and compensatory damages of $22,500. The decree also provides for injunctive relief including anti-discrimination training, reporting of discrimination claims to an outside independent entity for investigation, notice posting and a prohibition against any discrimination or retaliation under Title VII.
“Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination, is illegal and will not be tolerated,” said Kenneth Bird, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office. “While that should be clear by now to all employers, some continue to ignore the law. Employers should be on notice that the EEOC will act aggressively to protect people from this type of discrimination.”
The case was litigated by the Louisville Area Office, which is part of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District, with jurisdiction over Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and parts of Ohio.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.