Woman Subjected to Sexually Hostile Environment, Then Fired for Complaining, Federal Agency Charged
CLEVELAND – Multilink, Inc, an engineering and product development manufacturer with facilities in Elyria, Ohio, violated federal law by subjecting an employee to sex-based harassment and a sexually hostile work environment and then firing her for complaining, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.
The EEOC said Nancy Noble began working at the company in September 2009 and was subjected to offensive sex-based conduct and sexually demeaning remarks. Despite her complaints to management, the harassment continued. The EEOC alleges that although Multilink’s human resources officials and other managers were aware of the sex-based harassment and abusive work environment, Multilink failed to conduct a proper investigation and failed to take prompt or appropriate corrective action to stop the misconduct. The EEOC also seeks relief on behalf of other current and former females employees, similarly situated with Noble, who were also subjected to unlawful sex-based harassment and a hostile work environment.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division (Case: 1:11-cv-02071) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks injunctive relief, damages and lost wages and benefits because of Multilink’s discrimination.
“Employees should be able to go to work without the worry of harassment,” said Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, which oversees Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland, and portions of New Jersey and Ohio. “Not only are employers obligated to provide employees with an environment free of harassment, but upon learning of such misconduct, they are required to take immediate and appropriate action to stop the abuse from continuing.”
Multilink manufactures telecommunications network components.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination www.eeoc.gov.