EEOC Seal

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
10-5-09

High-Tech Institute Sued by EEOC for Sex Harassment

Female Employees Subjected to Verbal and Physical Harassment by Supervisor, Federal Agency Charges

PHOENIX — High-Tech Institute, Inc., also known as Anthem College Online, violated federal law by subjecting female employees to a sexually hostile work environment at its Phoenix, Ariz., campus, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it has filed.

The EEOC charged in its lawsuit, (EEOC v. High Tech Institute, Inc. d/b/a Anthem College Online, Case No. 2:09-cv-02041-DKD), filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, that a manager at High-Tech Institute repeatedly harassed female employees. The harassment included verbal and physical sexual advances, including requests to perform sex acts. High-Tech Institute, Inc. failed to adequately address the harassment even after the female employees complained to management.

This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the victim who filed a charge with the EEOC and for the other females affected, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent any further discriminatory practices.

“When employers subject individuals to sexual harassment, they are violating federal law,” said Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office. “The EEOC will continue to aggressively pursue employers who fail to prevent or promptly correct sexual harassment at their workplaces.”

EEOC Acting District Director Rayford O. Irvin, added, “Employers must take complaints of discrimination seriously and address them appropriately. This case highlights the need for the EEOC to remain vigilant in protecting employees from sexual harassment.”

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