Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First Student to pay $150,000 for Sexual Harassment, Retaliation

In Los Angeles, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has imposed a $150,000 fine on a company after allegedly covering up sexual harassment complaints against a supervisor and even retaliating against the female employees.

In a suit against First Student, the EEOC claimed that a male supervisor allegedly sexually harassed 3 female drivers and an HR assistant and made unwelcome verbal and physical acts against the women. Allegedly, aside from making explicit remarks about the female employees’ body parts and the sexual acts he wanted to perform on them – he also exposed himself, grabbed the breasts of one of the female bus drivers and rubbed himself against her.

When the victims allegedly complained, a male manager failed to address the matter and even covered up the sexual harassment. One of the victims was disciplines while another was transferred in retaliation. Further, one of the female bus driver’s hours were cut because the supervisor’s sexual advances were refused, he also promised extra hours to employees who’d accept his sexual requests.

The severe sexual harassment forced 3 of the complainants to resign and according to the EEOC, the $150,000 will be awarded to the four female employees.

Sexual harassment is one of the most common labor violations in the workplace. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is unlawful to discriminate against an employee or applicant on the basis of one’s race, color, disability, or sex. Sexual harassment is actually a type of gender discrimination prohibited by the law and the EEOC defines it as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that adversely affects a person's job or her performance. The US Supreme Court defined the 2 types of sexual harassment as:

• Quid Pro Quo – This means, “this for that”. This is a type of sexual harassment that results to adverse employment decisions (ex. refusing to hire, low pay, firing) if the employee refuses to cooperate or submit to an employer, supervisor, or manager’s unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors.

• Sexually Hostile Work Environment – This involves severe and pervasive behavior or conduct from either the employer, manager, co-workers, or clients that is sexually offensive that unreasonably interferes with the employee’s work performance.

Sexual harassment is illegal so victims should make sure to report any incidents of it especially if it has continued despite rejecting the harasser or telling him to stop.

For more information on sexual harassment lawsuits in Los Angeles, you may visit http://www.mesrianilaw.com or call the Mesriani Law Group at their toll free number at 1-866-325-4529 or email them at info@mesriani.com for free case analysis.