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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing United Airlines over a ramp worker’s claims that she was sexually and racially harassed and retaliated against after she complained. “The racial and sexual harassment here appears to be as egregious as any we see,” said John P. Rowe, EEOC’s district director in Chicago. “It’s shocking that it’s going on at an employer of the size and sophistication of United. What is just as troubling is that when the victim complained, the employer responded by reaching out to retaliate against her and, finally, by just getting rid of her.” United spokeswoman Chris Nardella said the airline has “very strict policies against any forms of discrimination,” and does not comment on pending litigation. The EEOC said the retaliation included being repeatedly assigned to work entire days handling baggage in the rear pit of planes at one of the busiest gates — a job that cannot be worked standing up and normally is rotated among crew members at hourly intervals. She eventually was fired. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages and an injunction prohibiting harassment and discrimination at United in the future. The EEOC said it filed the suit after efforts to reach a settlement with the airline failed. Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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