An employee, terminated from an Illinois nonprofit after complaining about sexual harassment, filed a lawsuit against the organization, alleging the employer retaliated against him. The lawsuit names the nonprofit as well as its former chief executive officer and three members of its board of directors as defendants.
The plaintiff had worked as the director of programs and services at the nonprofit, which serves individuals with intellectual disabilities. According to the allegations contained in the lawsuit, the nonprofit's chief executive officer subjected several employees, including the plaintiff, to sexual harassment, including "sexual advances." Reports were allegedly made to several directors at the nonprofit, one of whom told the chief executive officer before launching an investigation.
The plaintiff alleges the chief executive officer retaliated against him by "stripping his job duties, demoting him, and making him move to a different job location." The nonprofit selected a former associate judge, who was also the vice president of the board of directors for the nonprofit, to conduct the investigation. The plaintiff claims this made the investigator "far from an independent investigator."
The plaintiff said he met with the investigator, despite his misgivings, on July 12, 2021. He had filed a discrimination charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) several days earlier.
The plaintiff alleges that the investigator "had no interest in discussing or addressing" his sexual harassment and retaliation allegations, but rather used the interview to try to build a misconduct case against him and his direct supervisor.
Less than three weeks after the interview, the nonprofit terminated the plaintiff. The chief executive officer resigned the following day.
The plaintiff has requested a jury trial and is seeking reinstatement to his job, damages, and attorney's fees. Patrick Keck "Former employee files sexual harassment lawsuit against Springfield nonprofit" www.sj-r.com (Oct. 04, 2022).