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PRESS RELEASE
7-30-12

Newport News Shipyard and Contractor Will Pay $80,000 to Settle EEOC Retaliation Suit

Temp Employees Removed From Ship After Reporting  Sexual Harassment by Female Supervisor Against Men, Federal Agency Charged

NORFOLK, Va. – Huntington Ingalls, Inc., the present  owner of the shipyard in Newport News, Va., and its contractor Quality Coatings  of Virginia, Inc. of Chesapeake, Va., will pay $80,000 to settle a lawsuit for  retaliation filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),  the agency announced today.

The agency had charged that the defendants violated federal law in  May 2009 when they discharged Walter Strickland and Brian Glover at the request  of managers for both companies after the men provided written statements  concerning a female supervisor whom they alleged had been kneeing her male  subordinates in the groin. Strickland  and Glover worked for Quality Coatings on the cleaning crew aboard the U.S.S. George H. W. Bush, which was  docked in Norfolk at the time. Strickland and Bush provided the written statements on the morning of  May 1, 2009, and were removed from their positions aboard the ship that same  day.

Creating a hostile work environment based on sex, and retaliation  for complaining about it, violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of  1964. The EEOC filed suit after first  attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation  process.

In  addition to $80,000 in monetary damages, which will be shared by the two former  employees, the consent decree resolving the case (EEOC v. Huntington Ingalls  Incorporated and Quality Coatings of Virginia, Inc. Case No. 2:11CV490, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern  District of Virginia, Norfolk Division) includes injunctive relief enjoining  the companies from engaging in any further retaliation within the meaning of  Title VII. The decree also requires the  companies to alter and redistribute their anti-discrimination policies.  Huntington Ingalls, in particular, will include new provisions in its policies  addressing how its own managers are to handle complaints coming from employees  of its contractors. Also, throughout the  term of the decree, the companies must submit various reports to the EEOC aimed  at ensuring the effectiveness of the companies’ anti-discrimination policies.

“An  employee’s ability to report conduct believed to be discriminatory without fear  of reprisal is fundamental to creating workplaces free of discrimination,” said  Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, of  which the EEOC’s Norfolk Local Office is a part. “An employee who reports sexually inappropriate  conduct in the morning should not be singled out for termination in the  afternoon.”

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