The business that was sued for allegedly discriminating against a female employee will have to pay millions in damages to a former employee.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against a company called EsterCare and two of its former employees, claiming they discriminated against a woman who sued the company after being fired in 2011 for allegedly receiving improper treatment.
“The company’s conduct is so egregious, it shocks even the most hardened of conscience,” EEOC Deputy Assistant Director of Public Affairs Sarah Hargrove said in a statement.
“The EEOC is pleased to have this matter resolved and is hopeful that the parties can come to a resolution that respects the rights of all parties.”
EsterCare was founded in 2011 by Mary Ann Dyson, a former retail employee at a Georgia mall who claims she was sexually harassed by a male supervisor.
In 2015, she filed a complaint with the EEOC alleging the company had a “pattern and practice of discriminating against employees for reasons including race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”
Dyson’s complaint included a detailed account of how Estercare denied her access to facilities and personnel, prevented her from joining a leadership team and subjected her to harassment and intimidation.
The EEAC alleged Ester Care had denied her medical care and paid her less than the state minimum wage for her work.
The company also alleged it had retaliated against employees who brought complaints of discrimination, and paid them more than the minimum wage.
In May 2017, Dyson’s employer agreed to pay her $6.6 million.
The lawsuit alleges that EsterCares conduct violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, sex or national origin.
The EEOC also alleged EterCare discriminated against Dyson by not granting her a promotion, making it difficult for her to take a job in a different location, and by refusing to provide her with severance payments.
The company has not yet filed an answer to the lawsuit, according to the EEAC.
Dyson filed a discrimination lawsuit against Ester last month.
She filed the lawsuit against the company in federal court in Florida, claiming she was fired after the company decided to close her account for violating its nondiscrimination policy.
Ester has not responded to a request for comment.