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Collection Agency Reaches Settlement With EEOC in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

A collection agency in Illinois has reached a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and will pay an employee $25,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the EEOC that alleged the agency violated federal laws by “subjecting an employee to unwelcome and offensive comments made by supervisors and co-workers about his sexual orientation.”

The collection agency — Malcolm S. Gerald & Associates — will also adopt an anti-discrimination policy that will apply to all employees of the company.

The EEOC filed a lawsuit last September against the company, alleging that it violated the Civil Rights Act by subjecting an employee to obscene comments about his sexual orientation. The comments came during a period between September 2014 and August 2016, according to the complaint filed by the EEOC. The EEOC had sent a letter to the collection agency in January 2017 notifying them of its findings and inviting the agency to engaged in “informal methods of conciliation to endeavor to eliminate the discriminatory practices and provide appropriate relief.” The communications did not result in an agreement so the EEOC filed its lawsuit against the agency.

As part of the settlement, the collection agency will also provide annual training for all employees “regarding the laws pertaining to employment discrimination.”

A copy of the settlement can be accessed by clicking here.

“The EEOC is satisfied that this employer now clearly understands that sexual harassment, by anyone and against anyone, is unlawful and unacceptable in an American workplace,” said Julianne Bowman, the EEOC’s district director in Chicago, in a statement announcing the settlement.

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