Maintenance Company agrees to pay $45,600 in Sexual Harassment Settlement

Louisiana – A year ago the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Complete Maintenance, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The sexual harassment lawsuit was filed on behalf of a female employee who experienced sexual harassment and assault by a male supervisor.

The EEOC accused Complete Maintenance of liability and other unspecified work violations for the serious sexual harassment that occurred in the workplace. According to an unnamed housekeeper who worked in the male’s restroom at a retail store, the male supervisor sexual assaulted her. In addition to the sexual assault, he made several threats to assassinate her family if she ever revealed that she was sexually assaulted.

Perpetrators attempt to put fear in their victims. In spite of the threats, the housekeeper found the courage to report the sexual harassment to her store manager. The store manager immediately called the sheriff’s department to file a report. The sheriff’s office sent confirmation that they receive the report, however, it appears that the male supervisor allegedly left town for a work meeting. Surprisingly, Complete Maintenance never heard from the male supervisor again.

Sexual Harassment Training and Policy

Sexual harassment training and policies can be very useful. Sexual harassment training allows employees to understand the various forms of sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace. Sexual harassment training would also help employees identify signs of sexual harassment, ways to escape the harsh behavior, and under unfortunate circumstances, the proper way to report sexual harassment.

A sexual harassment policy delivers the knowledge to sexual harassment. The sexual harassment policy includes workplace guidelines for sexual harassment as well as the state and federal laws that protect people in the workplace from sexual harassment. Although some companies fail to abide by the law at all times, every workplace should have a sexual harassment policy available for the greater good of the company.

The presence of sexual harassment training and policies increases the value of the workplace. It shows current and future employees that their job cares about them and their safety, and in event that either one or both are in jeopardy, the workplace will take the time to review the work-related issue and follow the procedures to rectify the problem.

Unfortunately, a sexual harassment training program and sexual harassment policies were absent from Complete Maintenance. Due to the absence of documented protection in the workplace, the EEOC released an allegation stating, “Complete Maintenance is strictly liable for the sexual harassment carried out by the supervisor,” under Title VII. Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis color, race, religion, gender, sex, and national origin. Complete Maintenance failed to provide a sexual harassment policy and sexual harassment training to the accused supervisor and the housekeeper.

The EEOC also alleged that the absence of the sexual harassment policy and training procedures prevented Complete Maintenance from handling and fixing the sexual harassment at work. It also left the proper way to report sexual harassment unknown to the employees.

Complete Maintenance New Guidelines

In August 2016, the plaintiff and defendant agreed to a consent judgment. The consent judgment included monetary damages, relief, and discrimination prevention. Complete Maintenance decided to add a sexual harassment policy and sexual harassment training procedures to the workplace. The sexual harassment policy will shield employees from sexual harassment and workplace retaliation.

The cleaning company plans to train employees on their rights under Title VII and post a notice listing information including the sexual harassment settlement, laws, and their rights. Complete Maintenance agreed to comply with the law and report to the EEOC as a part of the consent judgment.

The New Orleans office EEOC regional attorney said, “No one should have to suffer sexual harassment at the workplace.” He added, “This was a particularly severe case of abuse, and the EEOC is pleased to have stepped in forcefully and made a terrible situation much better for everyone.” The sexual harassment settlement concluded with a $45,600 payout. As a result of the settlement, Complete Maintenance should be a better workplace.

Sexual Harassment Lawyer

If you have ever endured sexual harassment in New York City, Miami, New Jersey, or Philadelphia, contact a sexual harassment lawyer at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our sexual harassment lawyers are knowledgeable about workplace misconduct including sexual harassment, and the federal and state laws that protect employees from sexual harassment. Call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation.