A Real Pain: Dental Trade Association Shells Out $1.95M to Settle Title VII, ADA Retaliation Charge

Ouch! The American Dental Association might need to take an anesthetic for this one.

The association will pay $1.95 million to resolve charges that it violated Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act by retaliating against its former chief legal counsel and HR director because they complained about discrimination to the association’s board of directors, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced on Friday.

The statement on the settlement from the association read:

The American Dental Association is pleased to be able to reach this amicable resolution of the allegations raised by Tamra Kempf and the former director of HR, and sincerely regrets the events that led to this dispute. Ms. Kempf and the former director of HR were dedicated and loyal employees whose primary motivation was the protection and furtherance of the interests of the association. As sometimes happens in business, differences arose between them and other members of the management team as to how various issues should be approached and handled, but this does not diminish the value of the many contributions that each made to the American Dental Association during their tenure. The associĀ­ation regrets that its actions led them to believe that they were retaliated against, and apologizes for any conduct that they may have construed as retaliation.

“The position of EEOC is that human resources professionals and in-house lawyers who advise their employers to abide by anti-discrimination laws are engaged in protected activities, and any retaliation against them for doing so is illegal,” said Julianne Bowman, director of EEOC’s Chicago’s District Office which oversaw the investigation.

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