Honolulu, Hawaii – The state and its Transportation Department’s airport division awarded a former female employee at Honolulu International Airport for being sexually harassed.  The federal Justice Department determined that the employee who was an explosives detection canine handler at the company was subjected to sexual harassment while she worked.  They also determined that the employer did not do enough to stop the harassment which she had experienced by her co-worker.

The sexual harassment lawsuit states that a male employee grabbed and hugged his female co-worker, referred to her as his “brown baby” and called her “sexy”.  The jury concluded that the organization did not take the proper course of action in an effort to rectify the misconduct even though complaints were made about the male co-worker’s inappropriate behavior.
The victim was awarded $38,000 as compensation for the pain and suffering she had gone through as a result of workplace sexual harassment.  Furthermore, the Department of Justice is requesting that Hawaii revise its policies on workplace sexual harassment, complaint procedures and the training programs in place for its employees.
According to the Department of Justice, the male co-worker’s behavior began sometime in 2008, when both he and the victim were working for a private company contracted by the airport.  The workplace sexual harassment progressed even after both of them were hired by the state of Hawaii.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The original lawsuit for sexual harassment was filed by the victim with the office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Honolulu.
Attorney, Vanita Gupta, head of the civil rights division at the Department of Justice had this to say:  “This jury’s verdict sends a loud message and a clear reminder that we will continue to effectively combat sex-based discrimination whenever it occurs in a public sector workplace,”
Jenny Yang, chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded by saying “Workplace Sexual harassment remains a significant problem for our nation’s workforce; this verdict serves as a reminder to employers that they must remain vigilant in preventing and remedying harassment in their workplace.”

Know the signs of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Never allow anyone to get away with causing you distress by working in a hostile job environment.

  • A coworker who consistently makes comments on your clothing in a sexual nature
  • Constant jokes about age, race, or gender
  • Making requests for sexual favors or unwelcome sexual advances
  • Behavior; whether its overt or hidden, that affects your work performance

The above scenarios are just a few examples of workplace sexual harassment. At the employment law firm of the Derek Smith Law Group, we would like to let you know that as sexual harassment and employment discrimination attorneys, we take workplace sexual harassment and discrimination very seriously.
If you are feeling uncomfortable at your job; if sex-based misconduct is affecting your job performance or you are experiencing mental distress then we strongly urge you to seek the professional advice of our New York City, New Jersey, Miami, and Philadelphia sexual harassment and employment law attorneys at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation.