EEOC Charges that San Antonio Critical Care Transportation Company Maintained Hostile Work Environment Based on Sex
Lone Star Ambulance, a San Antonio critical care transportation company, violated federal law by subjecting female employees to sexual harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed last week. One of the employees was fired in retaliation for complaining about the harassment; another female employee was forced to quit because of the abuse.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, female employees were subjected to repeated sexual harassment by the executive director and a supervisor. The abuse included not only verbal sexual harassment but also physical acts such as unwanted sexual touching and forced submission to sex as a condition of employment. These working conditions became so intolerable that one of the female employees felt compelled to resign. Another female employee was terminated shortly after she rejected sexual advances from a supervisor and then complained about the sexual harassment.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits subjecting an employee to a hostile work environment and discharging her because of their sex, as well as retaliating against an employee for opposing harassment. The EEOC filed its lawsuit (EEOC v. Lone State Ambulance, Case No.5:21-CV-00797 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its pre-litigation conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking full relief, including reinstatement, back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and other measures to prevent sexual harassment of employees in the future.
“No worker should be forced to endure sexual harassment in order to make a living, or suffer retaliation for opposing the harassment,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Esha Rajendran.
Eduardo Juarez, supervisory trial attorney for the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office, added, “Federal law gives employees the right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment and a hostile work environment, and the EEOC will continue to defend that right.”