Sterling and Sterling, Inc., a Long Island insurance company, will pay $120,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency recently announced.
According to the lawsuit, a Sterling sales telemarketer filled out an EEOC questionnaire regarding complaints of race and sex harassment while she was on maternity leave in September 2009. In February 2010, 2 weeks after she returned to work, Sterling reportedly suspended her, citing her EEOC filing. The company fired her on March 1, 2010.
In addition to monetary relief, Sterling must provide relevant training, post anti-discrimination notices, and report future complaints to EEOC.
“Employers need to be aware that employees have the right to come to the EEOC,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Elizabeth Grossman. “We hope this lawsuit will discourage other employers from punishing employees who contact this agency.”