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 harassment.
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."