St. Louis 8/23/2012 09:00 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a federal lawsuit against Help at Home alleging that an administrator in their Hillsboro office sexually harassed two female employees.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday alleges that the two employees were subjected to “egregious sexual harassment” in the form of unwanted sexual comments and retaliation. In addition to firing the two complainants, the EEOC alleges that the company also fired the supervisor who heard the women’s complaint and reported it to the company’s headquarters.
Kari McConnell and Jaclyn Stone said that the harassment began in early September 2009. The suit claims that Regional Director Chris Qualls sexually harassed them. They complained to branch manager Sherry Schroetter.
Schroetter took the two women’s complaints to the Help at Home’s vice president Rick Cantrell, but shortly afterward, all three women were fired.
The EEOC filed the lawsuit after they attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement.
Retaliation and sexual harassment is a serious issue in the workplace. Harassment makes people feel degraded and abused. When an employee fears they will lose their job for reporting harassment or discrimination, then an employer cannot address the problem which has the potential of escalating and making their employees less productive.
Unaddressed harassment can also be costly, as the targets often seek out sexual harassment attorneys to obtain compensation for lost wages and emotional distress. Employers who ignore harassment are indirectly endorsing the behavior.