As small and midsize business owners, it is crucial to understand the severe penalties that can arise from violating employment laws. A recent settlement involving a federal contractor, serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of engaging in discriminatory practices and retaliating against employees.  

In this article, we explore the details of the case and highlight the importance of promoting equality and fairness within the workplace.

The HR experts at Asure help small and midsize business owners comply with federal, state, and local employment laws. Learn more about how Asure can protect your business here.

The Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit

The contractor faced a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The lawsuit alleged that the company discriminated against and retaliated against a Black woman who worked as a recruiter.

The recruiter voiced opposition to what she perceived as discriminatory hiring practices within the company, which included rejecting candidates based on age and disadvantaging individuals based on race or national origin. In response to her objections, the company terminated her employment.

Violations of Anti-Discrimination Laws

The alleged actions by the contractor violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits both race discrimination and retaliation, as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which protects employees from retaliation when opposing age discrimination.

The EEOC filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia after attempting to resolve the matter through administrative conciliation.

Holding Employers Accountable

It is crucial for employers to be held accountable for retaliating against employees who voice opposition to discriminatory practices in the workplace. The EEOC is dedicated to preventing and rectifying discrimination and retaliation, ensuring a fair and inclusive work environment for all employees.

The Importance of Speaking Up

The EEOC emphasizes that retaliation against employees who speak up against discrimination they observe cannot be tolerated. By supporting and encouraging employees to come forward with their concerns, businesses can work towards a culture of equality, respect, and diversity.

The Reach of the Lawsuit

The lawsuit was initiated by the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, which oversees cases in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys from this office also handle discrimination cases in Washington, D.C., and parts of Virginia.


The settlement reached in the discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the contractor serves as a reminder to small and midsize business owners of the significant penalties and legal consequences that can result from violating employment laws.

It reinforces the importance of promoting a workplace free from discrimination and retaliation, fostering an environment where employees feel safe to voice their concerns.

By upholding fairness, equality, and respect, businesses can not only avoid legal trouble but also create a positive work atmosphere that attracts and retains talented individuals who contribute to their growth and success.

Connect with an expert at Asure to learn how we can help your business comply with federal, state, and local employment laws.

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