National Education Assoc. Agrees to Settle Sex Discrim Suit

May 26, 2006 ( - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that the National Education Association (NEA) and its Alaska affiliate (NEA-Alaska) have agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit.

A district court in Alaska had dismissed the lawsuit, but that decision was reversed by the 9 th US Circuit Court of Appeals which decided discrimination based on sex need not be of a sexual nature (See Discrimination Based on Sex Need Not Be Of Sexual Nature). The appellate court remanded the case back to the district court for trial.

Three female employees of the NEA-Alaska filed sexual harassment claims with EEOC saying that their manager, Thomas Harvey, created a sex-based hostile work environment by loud and profane yelling, hostile gestures, and invasion of personal space inflicted on women in the office and not men. Some male employees testified in agreement with the women.

After the 9 th Circuit remanded the case to the lower court, the unions and the EEOC engaged in mediation resulting in the settlement, according to the announcement. In addition to the monetary relief for the three women, both the NEA-Alaska and the NEA agreed to review their employment policies, provide effective means to address discrimination complaints, and educate their employees about their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.