EEOC Sues McDonald Oil Company for Sexual Harassment

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – McDonald Oil Company, a Georgia-based corporation operating gas stations and convenience stores in Orange Beach, Fairhope, and Spanish Fort, Alabama, subjected female employees to a sexually hostile work environment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC’s complaint, from at least June 2020 until late August 2020, the company allowed a male employee to subject multiple female employees to unwanted sexual touching and sexual comments about their bodies and questions about their sex lives. The male employee also solicited them for sex, disrobed at work, and circulated nude and semi-nude photos of himself that ultimately resulted in his criminal prosecution. The EEOC alleges that multiple supervisors ignored complaints from numerous female employees and customers. Rather than protect its employees and customers, McDonald Oil made excuses for the harasser and transferred him to another location where the harassment continued.

This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits an employer from permitting a hostile work environment based on sex. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. McDonald Oil Company, Case No. 1:21-cv-00407) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama after its local Mobile office completed an investigation and first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary damages for the victims, including compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief against the company to prevent such unlawful conduct in the future.

“Requiring employees to work in a sexually charged environment permeated with unwelcomed sexual touching, comments, and conduct violates Title VII,” said EEOC Birmingham district director Bradley Anderson. “The EEOC is committed to ensuring employers put on notice of sexual harassment promptly correct it.

Marsha Rucker, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Birmingham District said, “McDonald Oil had ample opportunity to protect its employees, but multiple levels of management chose to ignore this harassment and allowed it to continue. The EEOC will aggressively pursue remedies for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.”

The EEOC’s Birmingham District consists of Alabama, Mississippi (except 17 northern counties) and the Florida Panhandle.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

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