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Hostile Work Environment

Newport News, VA: (May-01-08) The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission brought charges against Burlington Medical Supplies, a Newport News medical supply firm, alleging that the company sexually harassed six women. The suit claimed that in September 2006, the company subjecting the six employees to a hostile work environment. Further, the women were sexually harassed by the company's owner and president, Dennis Swartz, who made unwelcome and unsolicited sexual comments, propositions, gestures and touching towards the women.

Court papers reveal that the six women who originally filed the lawsuit suffered the loss of three as they didn't file their complaints within the required 300-day limit from the alleged harassment. The EEOC challenged that ruling stating that they should be included because the EEOC and not the defendants filed the suit and that the lead plaintiff met the deadline. Sources stated that US District Judge Walter D. Kelley Jr. ruled against the EEOC and dismissed the three women from the case.

As part of a settlement reached in the case, the company agreed to pay $70,000 to resolve the lawsuit filed by the federal agency. Under the terms of settlement all six will get a share of the $70,000. The lead plaintiff, Georgeanna Trudil, a sales employee, will get $20,000. The five other women will get $10,000 each for their part in the suit. [DAILY PRESS: $70,000 ENDS LAWSUIT OVER SEXUAL HARASSMENT]


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Last updated on May-5-08

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