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Dallas company to pay $499,000 for sexual harassment, retaliation firings

Dallas company to pay $499,000 for sexual harassment, retaliation firings

A six-person jury for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, has awarded three former employees of a Dallas-based physician services provider nearly $500,000 in a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency said Monday.

Gloria Stokes, a former executive assistant for EmCare Holdings Inc., was awarded $250,000 in punitive damages based on the claim that she was sexually harassed by her supervisor, division CEO Jim McKinney, according to a statement by the EEOC.

Meanwhile, credentialer Bonnie Shaw and recruiter Luke Trahan, were awarded $82,000 and $167,000, respectively, for retaliatory discharge, according to the statement released after Friday's decision.

Ms. Shaw and Mr. Trahan, who worked in the AnesthesiaCare Division of EmCare, said they told human resources personnel that Mr. McKinney made an inappropriate remark to Ms. Shaw's daughter, who was 15 years old at the time, during a Bring Your Child to Work Day event, according to the statement. Both Ms. Shaw and Mr. Trahan were fired six weeks later for “performance issues.”

“Ms. Stokes, Ms. Shaw, and Mr. Trahan spent their time at EmCare working diligently to do their jobs well despite the pervasive sexual environment that human resources allowed Jim McKinney to create and perpetuate,” EEOC senior trial attorney Meaghan Shepard said in the statement. “Their complaints were ignored, and instead of getting support from HR, Ms. Shaw and Mr. Trahan were fired for daring to speak out against the division CEO. By today's verdict, it is clear that all three have finally been heard.”

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