BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) — Pallet Companies, doing
business as IFCO Systems, will pay $202,200 after allegations of sexual orientation
discrimination, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC) has announced.
According to EEOC, a lesbian employee at the company’s
Baltimore facility was harassed by a supervisor repeatedly due to her sexual orientation.
The supervisor allegedly made comments about her sexual orientation and
appearance, for example saying “I want to turn you back into a woman" and
"You would look good in a dress.” Additionally, the supervisor purportedly
made sexually suggestive gestures to her. The EEOC charged that the company fired
the employee very soon after she complained to management about the alleged
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, which bans discrimination because of sex. EEOC has deemed that
harassment and other discrimination due to sexual orientation falls under Title
VII as a form of sex discrimination.
"This consent decree marks EEOC's first resolution of a
suit challenging discrimination based on sexual orientation under Title
VII," said EEOC general counsel David Lopez. "[The] EEOC is committed to
ensuring that individuals are not subjected to discriminatory treatment in
workplaces based on their sexual orientation and looks forward to the day that
this fundamental right is widely recognized."