Funeral home to pay $150.000 to settle sexual harassment suit

newsroom@tri-statedefender.com | 3/21/2007, 7 p.m.


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that Memphis Funeral Home will pay $150,000 plus health insurance benefits to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit on behalf of two female employees who were subjected to a hostile workplace and then fired, along with two other male employees, in retaliation for reporting the unlawful conduct.

The EEOC charged in the suit that the funeral home’s location manager, Paul McCarver, subjected Pat Levine and another female employee to unlawful harassment because of their sex, and subjected Levine, Richard Mumm, and two other employees to unlawful retaliation and termination because they opposed the discrimination.  The alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits harassment based on sex and retaliation.  

The consent decree settling the case requires that Memphis Funeral Home pay Levine, Mumm, and two other individuals a total of $150,000 in lost pay and compensatory damages for emotional and psychological harm.  The consent decree also requires that Levine be offered health insurance and compensated for past medical expenses.  The lawsuit (Case No. 05-2718) and consent decree were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

Faye Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, said, “Employers must maintain work environments free of sexual harassment.  Additionally, it is unlawful to fire employees for speaking out about discriminatory conduct, whether real or perceived.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.