09/13/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/14/2022 08:07
SAN ANTONIO - Wisconsin-based Dental Health Products, Inc. (DHP), a nationwide provider of supplies and equipment to dental practices, violated federal law by firing a sales representative based in McAllen, Texas because she made a complaint to human resources alleging sex-based discrimination and harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, the sales representative made a written complaint to DHP's human resources department alleging that her manager was discriminating against her because of her sex after he reassigned her clients to a male salesperson. She also said the employer was creating a very hostile work environment for her. DHP fired the sales representative less than one day later, the EEOC said, in retaliation for opposing what she believed to be unlawful discrimination.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The case, EEOC v. Dental Health Products, Inc., Civil Action No. 5:22-cv-00994, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division. The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and appropriate injunctive relief to prevent similar discriminatory practices in the future.
"A manager may not fire, demote, harass or otherwise retaliate against an individual for filing a complaint of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination based on sex," said Philip Moss, a trial attorney with the EEOC's San Antonio Field Office.
Robert A. Canino, regional attorney for the EEOC in Dallas, added, "If employees learn that a co-worker has suffered an adverse employment action for stepping forward to challenge what they understand may be discrimination in the workplace, others may not want to take that kind of a risk. The EEOC enforces the law with a focus on thawing that chilling effect."
For more information on retaliation, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/retaliation.
The San Antonio Field Office is part of the EEOC's Dallas District Office, which is responsible for processing charges of discrimination and the conduct of agency litigation in Texas and parts of New Mexico.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.