On February 5, 2014, a federal judge issued a Consent Decree resolving the 2008 case U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Plaintiff) and Melissa Posten (Intervenor-Plaintiff) v. Jiudicy, Inc., d/b/a/ Labor Finders and Victor Morrow. The Decree explicitly does not imply any admission or finding of wrongdoing on the company’s part, but requires them to pay $150,000 to Plaintiff Posten, who alleged in her complaint that she had been sexually harassed by a manager. She further alleged that she had been terminated for reporting this harassment to her employer. The company will also be required to initiate training of workers and managers, to post of notices about the illegality of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and to report to a special Compliance Official over 24 months as specified by the Consent Decree. After 24 months, assuming the company has met its obligations under the Order and the Compliance Official is satisfied that no outstanding compliance issues remain, “the Decree shall operate as an automatic dismissal with prejudice.”
Jiudicy, Inc. operates from dozens of locations, concentrated in the Southeastern United States, under the name “Labor Finders.” Plaintiff Melissa Posten worked as an office administrator at the company’s Cumming, Georgia location, and the EEOC filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
In her Intervenor’s Complaint, Ms. Posten claimed that her supervisor (“Morrow”) had repeatedly called her cell phone from an anonymous number, breathed heavily and made extremely lewd comments. She also claimed that the same supervisor had a well-known history of sexually harassing female employees at Labor Finders. Supervisor Morrow denied that he had made these offensive phone calls, but Posten allegedly discovered that he was the source of the calls. She informed both the police and a corporate officer from Juidicy about this harassment by Morrow. Despite her report, and their knowledge that Morrow had been accused of sexual harassment by other employees in the past, the company did nothing to address the harassment. In fact, three days after she reported the harassment, on December 20, 2007, Posen was abruptly escorted from the building and told her employment was terminated, ostensibly for “creating a disruption at the workplace.”
The EEOC specifies that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects those who act in Opposition to a practice they believed to be unlawful discrimination, so long as such opposition is based on “a reasonable, good-faith belief that the complained of practice violates anti-discrimination law; and the manner of the opposition is reasonable.” Complaining to an employer about sexual harassment, as in the present case, is a clear example of protected activity.
If you are an employee and you believe your rights have been violated, please contact The Harman Firm, LLP.