CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit Feb. 3 against HP Pelzer Inc., an Athens, Tenn.-based manufacturer of automotive components, for allegedly firing a female employee because she complained about sexual harassment in the workplace.

 

According to EEOC allegations, a female employee reported to a plant manager that a human resources manager made unwelcome comments that she believed were sexual harassment. When the plant manager allegedly failed to take action, the female employee went to a higher official. That official asked the manager to look into the situation. The manager did and allegedly ruled that the company could not substantiate the female employee’s complaint. The company then purportedly fired the employee for supposedly violating its harassment policy.

 

"Management officials may not retaliate against employees for their reasonable good-faith belief that the company subjected them to harassment in the workplace," said Katharine W. Kores, district director of the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. "Such a policy creates a chilling effect for employees in the workplace. The EEOC will continue to enforce the retaliation provision of Title VII."

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