Woodbury broker sued for retaliation after bias probe

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The EEOC is suing Woodbury-based insurance broker Sterling and Sterling on behalf of a former employee who says she was fired for cooperating with an EEOC investigation.

Telemarketer Rochelle Legette says that in 2009 she filled out an EEOC questionnaire asking about race and sex discrimination at the brokerage. At the time, she was out on maternity leave.

EEOC investigators sent a copy of the questionnaire to Sterling and Sterling, as required by law. Then Legette returned to work.

Legette claims the firm immediately began scrutinizing her work. Within three days, she was counseled for poor performance, and within two weeks she was terminated. One of the reasons given for her firing: the EEOC questionnaire.

That was retaliation, the EEOC says. Workers who complete EEOC questionnaires have the same protection as those who file EEOC charges.

Advice: Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. Retaliation adds credence to any charge leveled against you—and makes it likely that you will draw even more EEOC scrutiny.

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