U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission PHONE (602) 640-5000
3300 N. Central Avenue, Ste. 690 TTY (602) 640-5072
Phoenix, AZ 85012-2504 FAX (602) 640-5071
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2009 Contact: Mary O’Neill, Regional Attorney
David Lopez, Supervisory Trial Attorney
Lucy Rosas, Trial Attorney
Diana Weaver, Trial Attorney
JUDGE FINDS AGAINST SUNFIRE GLASS FOR SEXUAL
HARASSMENT OF FEMALE WORKERS BY OWNER
EEOC Prevails in Case Involving Physical and Verbal Abuse of Glassblowers
PHOENIX – A federal district court today entered a Federal Court Judgment for $267,069.12
and injunctive relief in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a
lawsuit against Sunfire Glass, Inc., which charged that the company’s owner subjected a class of
female employees to severe physical and verbal sexual harassment in violation of federal law.
Judge Lawrence O. Anderson found that Sunfire owner Paul McBride sexually harassed two
female glassblowers by touching the women on their breasts and between their legs, hitting the women
on the buttocks, making obscene gestures, and verbally harassing the women by talking about their
bodies and using vulgar language. At times, the court also found McBride would touch the women
while they were working with hot glass and were unable to defend themselves against McBride’s
advances. The two women, Tineke Meyer and Karina Mercado, complained repeatedly to
management, and no action was taken. As a result of the abuse, both Meyer and Mercado were forced
The EEOC’s suit (EEOC v. Sunfire Glass, Inc., Civ. 08-1784 PHX-LOA) was filed in U.S.
District Court for the District of Arizona in September 2008. Despite receiving notice of the lawsuit,
McBride failed to submit an answer to the litigation or otherwise appear in the case, and the court
entered a default judgment against the company.
The Court made very specific findings of fact and conclusions of law and awarded Tineke
Meyer the equitable remedy of back pay plus prejudgment interest through 3/12/09 in the sum of
$60,287.56; compensatory damages in the sum of $50,000.00; and punitive damages in the sum of
$50,000.00; totaling $160,287.56 in damages against Defendant Sunfire Glass, Inc. The Court also
ordered post-judgment interest at the legal rate until paid in full. The Court also awarded Karina
Mercado the equitable remedy of back pay plus prejudgment interest through 3/20/09 in the sum of
$6,781.56; compensatory damages in the sum of $50,000.00; and punitive damages in the sum of
$50,000.00; totaling $106,781.56 in damages against Defendant Sunfire Glass, Inc.
Plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was awarded injunctive relief against
Defendant Sunfire Glass, Inc. The Judgment was signed by Magistrate Judge Lawrence O Anderson
on 4/10/09. The Judge ordered Sunfire enjoined from engaging in sex discrimination, ordered Sunfire
to train employees on sexual harassment, ordered Sunfire to post Notices about sex discrimination, and
ordered Sunfire to create policies and procedures regarding discrimination.
Sexual harassment, and forcing employees to quit as a consequence, violates Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion,
sex (including sexual harassment) and national origin.
EEOC Phoenix District Director, Chester V. Bailey, stated, “The conduct at issue in this case
was deplorable. The fact that the owner of the company was the harasser left the women in a difficult
situation. Fortunately, these victims bravely stepped forward to report Mr. McBride’s conduct and
have it addressed.”
EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill said, “Sexual harassment is the toxic waste of the
workplace. This case was especially troublesome because the victims are in low-wage jobs and are
particularly vulnerable. I commend Ms. Mercado and Ms. Meyer for their courage in standing up for
themselves and each other. Their effort has been truly heroic.”
Sunfire Glass, Inc. is a glass company located at in Phoenix at two locations -3031 N. 31st
Avenue and 10297 West Van Buren.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information
about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.