U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Kindergarten Teacher at Church's Christian School Fired for Complaining About Sexual Harassment by Pastor, Federal Agency Charges
ATLANTA - The King's Way Baptist Church, Inc. of Douglasville, Ga., violated federal law when it fired a kindergarten teacher at its King's Way Christian School for reporting sexual harassment by its chief executive officer / pastor, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed recently.
According to the EEOC's complaint, the pastor repeatedly subjected the teacher to sexual harassment by touching her inappropriately and made veiled threats to her if she should complain. When the teacher complained about the harassment, rather than taking measures to prevent any further harassment, King's Way fired her.
These actions violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from firing, demoting, harassing or otherwise retaliating against employees because they complained to their employer about discrimination on the job. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. The King's Way Baptist Church, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-03816) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC is seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the former teacher, as well as injunctive relief designed to prevent future discrimination.
"When an employer fires an employee for complaining about sexual harassment, it is only compounding its own culpability and setting itself wide open for charges of retaliation," said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for EEOC's Atlanta District Office. "EEOC is stepping in to defend the rights of this discrimination victim not to be victimized even further. No one should be punished for telling the truth to power if that truth is sexual harassment."
EEOC's Atlanta District Office enforces federal employment discrimination laws in Georgia and parts of South Carolina. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.