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PRESS RELEASE
8-3-10

Mobile Community Action Sued by EEOC for Retaliation

Mobile Area Non-Profit Corporation Unlawfully Fired Male Employee for Complaining About Sexual Harassment, Federal Agency Charged

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Management of a Mobile County, Ala., non-profit corporation unlawfully retaliated against a male employee because he complained about being sexually harassed by a female supervisor, according to a lawsuit filed on July 30 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit (Case No. CV-10-403) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Mobile Community Action, Inc., fired Donte Bumpers when he resisted sexually harassing behavior by a female supervisor. Bumpers was fired after he reported the sexual harassment and requested a transfer in a letter to Executive Director Jimmy Knight.

The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The agency is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages as well as other relief, including a permanent injunction to prevent Mobile Community Action from retaliating against any employee for reporting harassment or discrimination.

“Unfortunately, we see allegations of retaliation far too often,” said EEOC Birmingham District Director Delner Franklin-Thomas. “We will continue our efforts to let employers know that retaliation for complaining about discrimination violates the law.”

C. Emanuel Smith, Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s Birmingham District Office, said, “The Commission supports employees being able to complain about conduct believed to be discriminatory without fear of reprisal. Retaliation is illegal.” 

Mobile Community Action, Inc. operates a Head Start program and provides other community services to qualifying families in the Mobile area.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.