Federal Agency Charges Security Services Provider Fired Employee In Retaliation for Sexual Harassment Complaint
DETROIT – A provider of security services unlawfully retaliated against a security guard for complaining about sexual harassment, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit (Case No. 2:10-CV-13839), filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Prudential Protective Services, L.L.C. fired Cynthia Wertz because she had complained to her site supervisor about sexual harassment. Prudential provides security services to various entities throughout southeast Michigan. The site to which Wertz was assigned to work as a security guard was the Detroit Medical Center (DMC). The EEOC contends that Prudential’s termination of Wertz was in retaliation for a sexual harassment complaint she made against a DMC employee.
Retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The EEOC seeks injunctive relief, enjoining the company from engaging in any retaliatory employment practices, as well as monetary relief on behalf of Wertz.
“Employers must quickly and reasonably address complaints of harassment, and cannot simply punish employees for complaining about the harassing conduct,” said Laurie Young, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office, which includes the Detroit office. “We will vigorously pursue all cases in which employees are fired for exercising their rights to complain about harassment.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.