Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Family Research Council sued by former employee

To paraphrase Rosalind Russell in The Women, "get a grip on yourself because you are simply going to swoon." The Family Research Council is getting sued for retaliating against an employee who filed a sexual harassment suit

The former director of women’s and reproductive health at the Family Research Council, a prominent Christian conservative advocacy group, is suing the organization, claiming it retaliated against her and fired her after she filed a sexual harassment complaint against her boss.

According to court documents first obtained and reported by journalist Evan Gahr, former FRC employee Moira Gaul, 42, filed a complaint in 2009 with the District of Columbia Human Rights Commission in which she accused her supervisor of gender discrimination. She claimed that her boss, the director of the Center for Human Life and Bioethics at the time, referred to the use of birth control pills as "whoring around," addressed emails to her with the words "hi cutie," pressured her to attend parties, and referred to her as a "young, attractive woman."

"His attitude toward me and other women was rude, belittling, and at times, angry," she wrote in the complaint.

Gahr identified Gaul's former supervisor as prominent anti-abortion lawyer William Saunders, who now works at the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life. Saunders and his attorney, William J. Hickey, did not respond to requests for comment on the case.4

The FRC fired Gaul shortly after she filed the complaint, citing a loss in federal funding for abstinence -- Gaul's area of expertise -- and the need for someone with more experience on abortion issues. Gaul claims the FRC also retroactively canceled her health insurance for the time that she was on short-term disability for systemic lupus. 

According to the Huffington Post article, the complaint was settled in 2009. And there lies the interesting rub. Gaul is suing FRC for unfair retaliation to her filing the complaint:

The suit claims that Gaul had received excellent reviews and no reprimands at the FRC up until she filed the gender discrimination complaint. Then, three months after she was fired, abstinence funding continued to the FRC, and the organization "created a new position with duties substantially similar to those previously performed by Ms. Gaul."

J.P. Duffy, vice president of communications at the FRC, told The Huffington Post that "D.C.'s Office of Human Rights made no finding" on the gender discrimination case, "and the case was withdrawn." Duffy did not comment on the retaliation case, which is ongoing.

However this ends, I know one thing for sure. FRC can't blame the gay community for THIS one.


Ranty said...

Um... Yes they can. If they can say gays created Hurricanes, they can say gays caused this. Don't underestimate their idiocy.

Side note, please get new verification. I swear I have to get 5 new words before I can read what it says.

Erica Cook said...

before I say what I want to say I have to first point out that no person no matter what the believe deserves to be discriminated against for their gender.

That said, she worked for a place that treats women as nothing more than reproductive tools that clean house, and she's surprised they discriminated against her?

Linnea said...

Gee, the FRC doesn't like women. And in other news, the sky is blue! I agree with Erica, I really don't know what self-respecting woman would work for this bunch.