PTC company settles retaliation suit

A Peachtree City company will pay $90,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to EEOC officials.

Gerresheimer Peachtree City (USA), which manufactures plastics for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, was sued in federal court September 2010 for terminating an employee in retaliation for her filing a discrimination charge with EEOC.

The suit contends that Donna McLeod was fired from her position as a quality assurance manager in January 2009, which was within six weeks of the company receiving notice of the discrimination charge, according to EEOC. Gerresheimer at the time said it was terminating McLeod for purportedly misusing leave time, according to the EEOC.

McLeod’s original complaint dealt with gender-based wage discrimination.

A consent decree settling the lawsuit also includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training, reporting and posting of anti-discrimination notices, the agency said.

In the suit and consent decree Gerresheimer denied any liability or wrongdoing in connection with the complaint.

The EEOC cited provisions in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee for complaining about discriminatory conduct.

“All too often employers look for any opportunity to fire employees who exert their rights under federal civil rights law,” said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “We trust this case will result in more employers thinking twice before they take adverse actions to punish employees for alerting them to discriminatory situations.”   

Bernice Williams Kimbrough, the EEOC district director in Atlanta, noted that “Retaliation is one of the most commonly identified bases of discrimination by people who file charges.  The EEOC is just as committed to protecting employees from retaliation as from any other type of discrimination.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

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