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EEOC Continues to Focus on Harassment Lawsuits

2018-08-10

Seven more harassment and retaliation suits filed by EEOC across the country

EEOC says that these actions are just the tip of the iceberg.  According to the 2016 Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, three out of four individuals who experience harassment never raise the issue internally.  

These filings represent the second time in two months that EEOC has coordinated a multi-state action on all types of harassment cases.  Five of the lawsuits alleged sexual harassment, two alleged racial harassment, and one national origin harassment.  Five of the seven suits included claims of retaliation for reporting the harassment.

Sexual Harassment Suits

Fairbanks Ranch Country Club [Los Angeles and San Diego field offices] – allegedly the manager solicited naked pictures from female employees; grabbed their buttocks; attempted to kiss them; offered one employee to male customers for lap dances; and even choked one employee.  GM abused his position by requiring sexual favors for job benefits.  Refusal lead to threats of termination or reduced working hours which forced some females to resign. 

Ojas Locos Sports Cantina [Phoenix District and Albuquerque Area office] – allegedly a group of women were subjected to pervasive unwelcome conduct, including requests that they show more cleavage in their uniforms, comments about their breasts and buttock, comments by male employees about their penises, text requests for sex, and unwelcome touching which created a hostile work environment. Complaints led to fewer hours, unfavorable shifts, changes in work assignments and one termination. 

Amada Senior Care [Phoenix District office and Denver field office] – charges that two women were subjected to pervasive unwelcome conduct, include touching of their breasts and buttocks and derogatory sexual remarks when they provided in-home care to a client.  One client allegedly exposed himself to the women and touched them with his genitals.  When the harassment was brought to the company’s attention, they failed to investigate and continue to make assignments to the client.  Amada also cut their work hours, terminated one and forced the other to quit.

United Airlines [Dallas District office and San Antonio field office] – allegedly allowed a hostile work environment to continue over a multi-year period.  A United captain frequently posted sexually explicit images of a flight attendant to various websites, making reference to her name, home airport and referencing the airline’s tagline “Fly the Friendly Skies.”  United failed to prevent or correct the pilot’s behavior after numerous complaints were made.

Piggly Wiggly [Atlanta District office] – claims that two female workers were subjected to sexually hostile work environment and retaliation.  A male employee made lewd sexual comments and sexual advances to two female store clerks.  When the females complained the store manager failed to take action to stop the harassment but cut one employee’s hours and eventually terminated both employees after they filed a written complaint. 

Racial Harassment Suits

Murex Petroleum Corp. [Chicago District Office] – allegedly white co-workers called an African-American casual laborer racial slurs such as “spook,” “spade” and “Buckwheat.”  The co-workers also made racially derogatory comments including the term “n----r-rigged.”  The supervisor witnessed the harassment but did nothing to stop it. 

Race and National Origin Harassment Suit

Marion’s Cleaners [Houston District office and New Orleans field office] – claims that an employee spent months continually telling the victim that she “needed to go back to Mexico,” that she “was nothing,” that she was a “stupid Mexican,” a “dirty Mexican,” and to “shut up” when speaking Spanish.  When reported, the company did nothing.  When the victim asked the harasser to stop, he grabbed her by the hair, repeatedly punching her in the face, and then pressed her against an exposed steam pipe.  She suffered severe, second-degree burns and trauma; however, she was fired for reporting the incident.

EEOC Sexual Harassment Settlement

Alorica, Inc. [Los Angeles District office] – agreed to pay $3.5 million and entered into a three-year consent decree requiring sexual harassment training, including civility and bystander intervention training for all its employees, plus monitoring, reporting, and revisions of its policies and procedures.  Suit alleged that Alorica subjected male and female customer services employees to a sexual hostile work environment by managers and co-workers.  Onsite human resources staff failed to properly address the harassment despite repeated complaints. 

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.