EEOC Sues Keller Paving and Landscaping for Sexual Harassment

Female Truck Drives Is Constructively Discharged at North Dakota Company because of Physical and Verbal Abuse

A North Dakota civil construction company operating in Minot, North Dakota, violated employment discrimination statutes, by subjecting an employee to a hostile work environment, based upon her gender and by subjecting her to work conditions that were so intolerable, she was compelled to resign.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity’s pleading, Jennifer Gerard worked for Keller Paving and Landscaping, Inc., in Minot, from June to October, 2013, as a truck driver. During Ms. Gerard’s employment, she was subjected to sexual harassment by several male co-workers. The harassment included male co-workers telling her that she did not belong at the work site, but she should be at home in the kitchen taking care of her children. One male co-worker as her to perform a sexual favor. On another occasion, a male co-worker touched different parts of her body.

Ms. Gerard complained to the company’s owners and the manager about the work place harassment, but the harassment continued and one of the owners suggested that she quit her position. Because of these egregious facts, Ms. Gerard felt that she had no choice to resign, causing her constructive discharge from employment.

Such alleged work place conduct constitutes a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which protects employees from discrimination based on sex. “No employee should ever be forced to work in an environment where she is subjected to unwanted sexual touching and verbal abuse,” said Julianne Bowman, Director of the EEOC’s Chicago District. “That goes for everyone in every kind of job—including women truck drivers. Such behavior is not only uncivilized, it is unlawful.” EEOC Regional Attorney Greg Gochanour added, “In this instance, Ms. Gerard did exactly what she should have done by complaining to the owners and the site manager. But the company failed to take any appropriate action to end the harassment, and instead forced her to resign. This is all illegal misconduct, and the EEOC is here to fight it.”

These types of issues remain prevalent in many work places. If you believe that your work place is not lawfully dealing with issues of gender discrimination and or sexual harassment, an experienced employment discrimination attorney would be able to provide appropriate assistance.

Read more on the services of Mark J. Berkowitz Sexual Harassment Attorney


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Mark Berkowitz focuses his practice on employee representation and employment discrimination matters before both state and federal courts; as well as government administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Florida Commission on Human Relations. These litigation matters involve cases related to claims of discrimination based on race, national origin, religion and gender, including, pregnancy and sexual harassment, as well as claims based on age, disability, medical leave; under the Family Medical Leave Act, retaliation and whistle-blower claims. He also handles claims involving issues of unfair competition, breach of the duty of fair representation, unpaid wages and non-compete and trade secret claims; and additionally, he engages clients in the negotiation of employment contracts and severance agreements.

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Mark J. Berkowitz has been practicing labor and employment law for more than 20 years in the Fort Lauderdale area. He can advise you on non-compete agreements, employment contracts, and other employment related issues.


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