U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Federal Agency Alleged School Fired Employee Because It Considered Him Too Old and Preferred Females for the Job
MILWAUKEE -The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller has entered a consent decree resolving its litigation against Renaissance School, a voucher school located in Racine, Wis.
EEOC's investigation found that, after hiring Boro Bosovich as a principal/supervisor and learning that he had retired from a prior job, Renaissance School's owners began questioning his fitness for the job and making comments related to his age. Ultimately, they fired him a few days after hiring him. EEOC's investigation also found that during the few days Renaissance School employed Bosovich, at least one of its owners made gender-discriminatory comments, implying that females were more desirable as employees because they were more passive.
The alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), prohibiting age-based discrimination, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits discrimination based on sex. The EEOC filed suit against Renaissance School (EEOC v. Renaissance School, Inc., No. 2:15-cv-00411-JPS) in the Eastern District of Wisconsin in April 2015 after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The terms of the decree prohibit future discrimination and require Renaissance School to pay former employee Bosovich $69,000. In addition, Renaissance School must train its entire staff on how to prevent and handle discrimination, retaliation, employee rights under the ADEA and Title VII. Also, Renaissance School's owner will personally address the entire staff before every training session with a message of zero tolerance for discrimination and retaliation. The company will preserve, track, and report to EEOC any future complaints of discrimination or retaliation.
"Federal employment discrimination laws protect anyone working for employers covered by those laws, including voucher schools such as this one," said John C. Hendrickson, regional attorney of EEOC's Chicago District Office, which is responsible for litigation in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. "Employees do not abandon their rights at the door of any private enterprise with 15 employees-whether a school or a department store. That said, EEOC acknowledges that Renaissance School was willing to resolve this case expeditiously and without a jury trial. That serves the public interest."
According to company information, Renaissance School, Inc., owns and operates three private schools, located in Sturtevant, Racine, and Kenosha, Wis. All three schools participate in the Racine and Wisconsin Parental Choice Programs, commonly known as "voucher" programs for public funding of private schools. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's website, roughly 98% of Renaissance School's students for the 2014-2015 school year were publicly-funded "choice," or voucher, students.
The EEOC's case was litigated by Senior Trial Attorney Cesar J. del Peral of the EEOC's Milwaukee Area Office under the direction of Associate Regional Attorney Jean P. Kamp.
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the Commission is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.