A white Swansea woman is suing a Fairview Heights business after she says she was fired because of her race after reporting harassment and discrimination she was subjected to while working.
Kimberly Shively filed the suit against Clarkson Eyecare in St. Clair County on Sept. 27. In it, she says she was fired Aug. 29, 2016 from the store, located at 10 Lincoln Trail. Her termination, she says, was “a result of her race.”
She was fired five days after a coworker “hit and pushed Shively and then threatened Shively with physical violence.”
The suit stated when Shively reported the incident she was subsequently fired.
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Shively’s lawsuit states she was “performing her job according to her employer’s legitimate expectations” before her termination, which the lawsuit states was in retaliation of her reporting the violence.
“We believe the lawsuit is frivolous and are prepared to vigorously defend the company,” David Weiss, general counsel for Clarkson Eyecare, said in a statement to the BND.
The lawsuit states she was “harassed with adverse employment actions, discrimination, and hostile work environment” for reporting the hostile work environment prior to being fired.
Shively filed a charge of discrimination with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Included in the lawsuit are the findings the EEOC issued, which states that the EEOC was “unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes.” It noted that the finding did not necessarily mean Clarkson Eyecare was in compliance of federal statutes and stated Shively had a right to sue.
Weiss noted in his statement that the EEOC has already investigated the claim and dismissed it.
Shively’s attorney, Michael J. Brunton, did not return multiple calls for comment.