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PRESS RELEASE
10-1-09

Chicago-Area Mortgage Banker Sued By EEOC For Sexual Harassment And Retaliation

Obscene Remarks and Sexual Advances Were Commonplace and Woman Who Complained Was Fired, Federal Agency Charges

CHICAGO – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has filed suit in federal court here against Tomayo Financial Services, Inc., a mortgage lending organization with four offices in the Chicago area, charging that women employees were sexually harassed and retaliated against when they complained.

John Rowe, the EEOC Chicago district director who managed the agency investigation which preceded the lawsuit, said, “Our administrative investigation revealed that numerous men employed at Tomayo, including the higher-ups, were part of continuous and widespread harassment of women. They allegedly referred to women with sexual epithets, engaged in threatening physical and verbal sexual conduct and ignored repeated complaints.”

The EEOC case, captioned EEOC v. Tomayo Financial Services, Inc., N.D. Ill. No. 09-CV-06094, and assigned to District Judge Ruben Castillo and Magistrate Judge Nan R. Nolan, was filed September 30, 2009 after EEOC’s efforts to voluntarily resolve the matter through its statutory conciliation process proved futile.

John Hendrickson, EEOC regional attorney for the Chicago District, said, “It does not matter what industry is involved—whether it’s automobiles, household products, mortgages—sexual harassment and retaliation are non-starters from both a business and a legal perspective. But as plain as that ought to be, not every employer gets it. That’s why cases like the one we filed today remain central to the EEOC’s mission.”

The EEOC’s Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.