09/28/2011 09:35 am ET Updated Nov 27, 2011

Source One Staffing, Chicago Agency, Sued For Categorizing Jobs As 'Men's' Or 'Women's' Work

A temporary employment office in Chicago was sued Monday for the alleged sexual harassment of workers and for assigning workers to jobs based on their sex.

According to a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission statement, Source One Staffingcategorized their jobs as either "women's work" or "men's work" and assigned them to their employees accordingly. Further, they allegedly knowingly assigned female employees to work environments that were hostile to women and retaliated against female employees who told company management that their supervisor was making sexual advances toward them. The agency is also accused of assigning female employees to lower paying positions with fewer hours and, often, lesser opportunity for advancement to permanent positions, according to the lawsuit [PDF].

"Title VII prohibits employment agencies from failing or refusing to refer employees for temporary job assignments because of their sex," EEOC Chicago district director John Rowe said in a statement. "This includes a duty not to comply with discriminatory requests from its clients for workers of only one sex."

The EEOC has filed suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after their attempt to arrive at a voluntary settlement with the agency was not successful. The EEOC hopes to end what they describe as Source One's problematic practices by instituting programs and policies that protect equal employment opportunities for male and female employees alike.

The EEOC is also seeking back pay for several former Source One employees impacted by the agency's allegedly strange allocation of assignments. They have requested a jury trial.