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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Justice Department Sues Henry County, Ill., for Sexual Harassment of Former Employee

WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice today filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois against Henry County, Ill., alleging that former employee Michelle Baze was sexually harassed by her supervisor, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

The complaint alleges that Baze’s former supervisor in the Henry County Animal Control Department subjected her to sexual harassment, including unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature and inappropriate sexual comments, during the course of her employment as a secretary. The complaint alleges that Henry County had been aware that the same supervisor had sexually harassed Baze’s predecessor, but failed to take action to prevent him from harassing Baze.

"Title VII ensures that women can participate in the workplace free of harassment based on sex," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. "The Department of Justice will actively pursue cases against employers who fail to take adequate steps to prevent and correct sexual harassment."

The Department of Justice is committed to the vigorous enforcement of Title VII. More information about Title VII and other federal employment laws is available on the Department of Justice Web site at http:///www.usdoj.gov/crt/emp/index.html.

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