According to the EEOC’s suit, Civil Action No. 2:10-4216, Nancy Gause and Tracie Lawson, who were co-directors of the shelter at the time, alerted the President and Vice-President of the Board of Directors that shelter director, Leigh Voltmer, had touched staff members inappropriately on several occasions. Voltmer was the highest-ranking employee at the shelter. Gause complained on behalf of staff members whom she supervised.
Within two weeks of complaining about the discrimination, Lawson was demoted and her salary cut, and Gause was fired. Both women had received positive feedback regarding their performance during their tenure as employees, but were terminated without warning allegedly for poor performance.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from allowing a hostile environment in the workplace. It also protects employees from retaliation based on their complaints of violations of the law. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.