Packaging worker claims she was fired after rejecting supervisor's advances

Andrea Dearden Sep. 20, 2012, 8:00am

A Madison County woman claims she was fired from an Edwardsville packaging company because she allegedly rejected the sexual advances of her supervisor.

Arnetta Gilliam filed a lawsuit Sept. 11 in Madison County Circuit Court against Berkeley Contract Packaging LLC.

Gilliam says went to work for Berkeley Contract Packaging in March 2011, first as an assembly line worker packaging consumer products then as a quality control auditor. Gilliam contends she never received any writeups or discipline from BCP or her supervisor, DeJuan Lockhart.

Beginning in May 2011, Gilliam claims Lockhart began directing unwelcome comments to her along with leering at her and touching her.

According to the complaint, Lockhart often told Gilliam she had a nice body and complimented her on the jeans she was wearing.

In June 2011, Gilliam says Lockhart rubbed his hand down her shoulder and the middle of her back. When she objected to his unwelcome touching, Gilliam alleges Lockhart put her to work on the assembly line and criticized her throughout the shift. Later that day, Gilliam says, she was fired by BCP.

Gilliam contends she was terminated for rejecting her supervisor's advances. She says she filed a sexual discrimination complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Gilliam accuses BCP of violating Illinois' Human Rights Act and creating a hostile environment for sexual harassment in the workplace. Gilliam seeks more than $100,000 in damages and court fees.

Attorney Kenneth J. Brennan of Collinsville represents Gilliam. They ask for a jury trial.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-1460

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