An employee discrimination lawsuit with Johns Hopkins University has been settled, with two African-American women, who accused the university’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, of sex and race discrimination, awarded over $350,000 in damages.
In June 2010, one of the plaintiffs filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), accusing the APL of cultivating a hostile work environment and harassing, retaliating against and eventually firing her because she tried to speak out about it. A second complaint was filed later that year in November by another African-American woman working in the APL, who accused the lab of both harassment in the workplace and pay discrimination.
An investigation conducted by the OFCCP determined that both women were indeed being discriminated against because of their race, both had been wrongfully treated for whistleblowing and the second plaintiff had been paid less than male coworkers in similar positions. The OFCCP concluded that the lab was in violation of Executive Order 11246, which protects federal contractors from sex and race discrimination in the workplace, and subsequently sued the university for damages. As part of the settlement, Johns Hopkins University will pay $359,253 to the plaintiffs, as well as revise its harassment and retaliation policies for the APL and re-train managers on federal equal employment opportunity laws.
“All workers deserve to be treated fairly, and when they are not, they should be able to report it without fear of being harassed or retaliated against,” said Patricia Shiu, director of the OFCCP, in a press release. “I am pleased that we were able to achieve a fair and just remedy for these two women and to ensure that the laboratory removes barriers to equal opportunity in the workplace.”
If you’ve suffered discrimination, retaliation, or harassment at work, or even been fired for reporting it, contact The Meyers Law Firm right away for expert and caring attorneys that will fight tirelessly for the damages you deserve.