Little Rock College Canceled Consulting Contract of Long-Term Employee Because of Discrimination Charge, Federal Agency Alleges
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Baptist College (ABC) in Little Rock, Ark., violated federal law by prematurely canceling an employee’s consulting contract and then refusing to allow her to teach classes because she had filed a discrimination charge, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed on July 26, 2010. The employee’s previous charge alleged discriminatory demotion.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Mary Jarrett’s consulting contract was canceled early and she was denied the opportunity to teach two classes, all in retaliation for filing a previous discrimination charge based on age, sex, disability and equal pay in November 2008. After accepting a request in January 2009 to teach two classes for the coming spring semester, Jarrett was then informed that she would not be permitted to teach because she had a pending EEOC charge. Jarrett subsequently received a letter from the president of the college informing her that her consulting contract and her health insurance were being terminated.
Retaliation for complaining about discrimination violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit, Civil Action No. 4-10-CV-1072 BSM in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of back pay and compensatory and punitive damages and/or liquidated damages, reinstatement, and an injunction against future discrimination.
“The EEOC is especially concerned when employees suffer adverse actions for complaining about discriminatory employment practices,” said Katharine W. Kores, district director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas and Tennessee and certain counties in Mississippi. “It is illegal to terminate an employee for engaging in her statutorily protected right of filing a charge with the EEOC.”
ABC is a private, historically black, four-year liberal arts college founded in 1884.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.