U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Collection Company Subjected Employee to Repeated Harassment Based on His Sexual Orientation, Federal Agency Alleges
CHICAGO - Collection agency Malcolm S. Gerald & Associates violated federal law by subjecting an employee to harassment because of his sexual orientation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
In the lawsuit, the EEOC alleges that Malcolm S. Gerald routinely subjected an employee to unwelcome and offensive comments by his supervisors and co-workers. According to the EEOC, the employee's supervisors and co-workers repeatedly made homophobic slurs to and about the employee.
According to Julianne Bowman, the EEOC's district director in Chicago, the EEOC's pre-suit investigation revealed that the employee was subjected to homophobic comments on nearly a daily basis. When he complained about the harassment, the company failed to take appropriate action to remedy the harassment.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination because of sex, including sexual orientation. The EEOC filed today's suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The case (EEOC v. Gerald S. Malcolm & Associates, Civil Action No. 17-cv-6744 was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division and assigned to Judge Edward E. Chang.
"No employee should be forced to endure such conditions at work," said Bowman.
Greg Gochanour, regional attorney of the EEOC's Chicago District Office, said, "Employers need to be aware that harassment based an employee's sexual orientation is illegal sex discrimination. The EEOC will vigorously enforce federal law to ensure that employees are not subjected to such misconduct."
The EEOC's Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of employment discrimination, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.