EEOC sues Ingalls Shipbuilding, a recruitment firm for sexual harassment and reprisal
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Recruitment agency NSC Technologies, LLC assigned female employees to the Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. shipyard in Pascagoula, where they were subjected to a sexually hostile work environment and suffered reprisals when they opposed the harassment and reported it, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) indicted in a lawsuit filed Thursday.
According to the EEOC complaint, in November 2017, NSC assigned a cleaning crew to work aboard a ship built by Huntington Ingalls. The superintendent made sexual comments to at least three employees, masturbated in front of them, sexually assaulted them and told them they had to have sex with him if they wanted to keep their jobs or be promoted, according to the pursuit. Two employees reported the harassment. The superintendent fired a woman who refused to have sex with him and threatened to kill the other after reporting the harassment.
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits an employer from allowing a hostile work environment based on sex. The EEOC filed a complaint (EEOC c. Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. and NSC Technologies, LLC, Case # 1: 21-cv-00429) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama after its local mobile office completed an investigation and first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement by through its voluntary conciliation process. The EEOC seeks pecuniary damages for the victims, including back wages, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as an injunction against the companies in order to prevent such illegal behavior in the future.
“It is a flagrant violation of Title VII for a supervisor to condition continued employment or promotion on a subordinate having sex with him,” said the district manager of EEOC Birmingham, Bradley Anderson. “Employees working through a recruitment agency are protected from sexual harassment and reprisals in the workplace, whether or not the harasser is employed by the recruitment agency. “
Marsha Rucker, regional attorney for the Birmingham district of the EEOC, added: “NSC and Huntington Ingalls failed to protect the employees despite having noticed that the superintendent was sexually harassing them. The EEOC will aggressively pursue remedies for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, including those assigned to a job through a recruitment agency. “
WXXV has contacted Huntington Ingalls for comment.
NSC is a national temporary staffing company that provides labor to a wide range of clients, including the shipbuilding and ship repair industry. Huntington Ingalls has more than 40,000 employees at several facilities in the United States and builds large surface ships for the US Navy and the US Coast Guard.
EEOC’s Birmingham District includes Alabama, Mississippi (except 17 northern counties), and the Florida Panhandle.
The EEOC advances opportunities in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest news from the EEOC by subscribing to our email updates.