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Updates on Sexual Harassment

Updates on Sexual Harassment - Archives


This section contains brief updates of recent sexual harassment complaints, suits, settlements, awards, surveys and studies. The information is gathered from many places and is intended to give an overview of the most current events. It is not meant to provide an exhaustive list of all the news.

  • WA State Patrol Sued by Female Captain

    Colleen McIntyre, the first woman to reach the rank of captain in the Washington State Patrol, sued the department claiming she faced discrimination and retaliation and was finally fired, primarily because she is a woman.

    The lawsuit was filed in Pierce County, Washington said that the senior command staff members conspired to demote and eventually fire McIntyre after she complained she was being treated more harshly than a male captain when they were both being investigated for violating an agency rule. 6/07/04

  • Raytheon Enters EEOC's National ADR Referral Back Program

    Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, announced that Raytheon, a global technology industry leader, has signed on to the EEOC's "referral back" program in seven geographic areas. Under this program, an individual who has filed a discrimination charge against a participating employer may elect to have his or her charge put on hold for up to 60 days in order to provide the charging party and the employer an opportunity to resolve the dispute using the employer's existing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program. If the dispute is resolved through the employer-provided program, the charge will be closed pursuant to the EEOC's procedures governing withdrawal and settlement of charges. If the dispute is not resolved, the EEOC will resume its processing of the charge.

    The EEOC's "referral back" pilot was launched in April 2003 by the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office with the participation of four Fortune 500 companies. Since then, several other employers in other areas have been added to the pilot program, and the EEOC anticipates that many more will make use of "referral back" once they learn of its merits.

    Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2003 sales of $18.1 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 78,000 people worldwide. 5/27/04

  • Cirque du Soleil to Pay $600,000 to Performer with HIV

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced the settlement of an employment discrimination case under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) against Cirque du Soleil, (U.S.), Inc. for $600,000 and significant remedial relief on behalf of a performer who was fired for being HIV-positive. Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil is an international circus and entertainment troupe with 2,700 employees worldwide.

    EEOC reached the voluntary resolution with Cirque du Soleil through the agency's conciliation process after investigating a charge of discrimination filed by Matthew Cusick, who worked as an aerial gymnast, and finding "reasonable cause" that the company violated the ADA.

    "When I was fired from Cirque du Soleil it was the worst day of my life," said Mr. Cusick. "Today is nearly the exact opposite because I stood up for what I knew was right and changed one of the world's most popular entertainment companies." 5/17/04

  • New Jersey Air Guard Pays Pilot $690,000

    The state of New Jersey paid $690,000 to a fighter pilot in the Air Guard to settle claims that he was subjected to sexual discrimination. The pilot, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Guard and a full-time pilot for American Airlines sued the Guard, its top officers and the state five years ago, claiming he was harassed and humiliated by fellow Guardsmen who wrongly accused him of being gay.

    He said he superiors at the 177th Fighter Wing grounded him, blackballed him and reduced his pay when he made his complaints through the chain of command. The monetary payment from the settlement of the case was the largest for harassment or discrimination complaints against the state Guard.

    The man's attorney, Christopher Lenzo, said, "It shows that the men and women who put on uniforms to defend our civil rights don't lose their civil rights just because they chose to put that uniform on."

    The pilot claimed that the harassment was punishment for supporting racial discrimination allegations made by another pilot who was the only black pilot in his unit at the time. That pilot, who did not sue the Guard, did receive a financial settlement and an honorable discharge for the racial discrimination he endured, according to his attorney, David Harris. The black pilot remains a pilot now with United Parcel Service in Delaware. 4/19/04

  • EEOC Issues Fiscal Year 2003 Endorsement Data

    EEOC recently released enforcement and litigation statistics for Fiscal Year 2003, covering October 2002 through September 2003. The new data which include charge filings, lawsuits, resolutions, and monetary benefits are available on the agency's web site at

    The data show that 81,293 private sector employment discrimination charges were filed with agency field offices nationwide last fiscal year and 87,755 were resolved for $236 million in monetary benefits and other relief. EEOC filed 361 new lawsuits and resolved 378 suits resulting in $149 million in monetary benefits as well as significant injunctive and remedial relief.

    "Discrimination continues to be a problem in too many of today's workplaces," said EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez, reflecting on the FY 2003 data. "As we approach the 40th anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 this July, it is evident that much progress has been made over the past four decades. Nevertheless, there is still much to do before we fulfill the EEOC's mission and mandate to eradicate unlawful discrimination from our nation's workplaces and ensure the freedom to compete for all individuals."

    Race-based charges were the most frequently alleged type of discrimination, followed by sex/gender, retaliation, age, disability, national origin, religion, and equal pay. 4/12/04

  • Quit Due to 'Glass Ceiling' Is Constructive Discharge

    The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a businesswoman who said she was denied promotion by a "glass ceiling" was constructively discharged. The court also said the woman is entitled to increased back and front pay, based on what she would have earned if she had been promoted. The woman began working for Van Meter Industrial in 1988 and claimed that the company had two separate tracks--one for men, leading to management and one for women, limited to clerical and support positions. She said her goal was to become a branch manager for the whole sale distributor of electrical products, which employs more than 250 workers in 15 Iowa locations with annual sales of more than $100 million. 4/5/04

    Updates on Sexual Harassment - Archives

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