Employers pay $98K to settle sexual harassment, retaliation cases; two new suits filed
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Monday, February 17, 2020

Employers pay $98K to settle sexual harassment, retaliation cases; two new suits filed

By Lauren Bikoff, MLS

In the four lawsuits, the EEOC raised allegations of discrimination under Title VII and the ADEA.

Companies in Arizona and Virginia have agreed to pay a combined $98,000 to settle allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation, according to the EEOC. The federal agency also announced filing two new lawsuits against employers in Arkansas and Missouri, alleging age discrimination and sexual harassment, respectively.

Sexual harassment suit settled. Rainbow Tree LLC, dba Persian Room Fine Dining in Scottsdale, Arizona, has agreed to pay $65,000 to settle allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation. The EEOC said the restaurant violated Title VII when one of its owners sexually harassed a female employee and then retaliated against her when she complained about the misconduct. The company will also issue an apology to the employee and modify its policies to clearly and unambiguously bar sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation. Line staff and management level officials will be trained annually on federal laws against discrimination.

The EEOC brought its lawsuit in the District of Arizona; the case is No. 2-19-CV-5047-PHX-CDB.

Retaliation suit settled. Hat World, Inc., a retailer of sports hats and fan gear, will pay $33,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit, the EEOC announced. According to the suit, Hat World violated Title VII when it fired a Lids store manager for complaining about sexual harassment and filing an EEOC charge. Specifically, the suit alleged that the store manager of the Greenbrier Square Lids location, in Norfolk, Virginia, made written complaints, for a year and a half, to Hat World’s corporate HR that she was being harassed by her district manager. After the employee filed a discrimination charge against the company, Hat World purportedly discharged the employee in retaliation.

Hat World is also required to adopt a written antidiscrimination policy that includes a procedure for the investigation of employee complaints by well-trained neutral individuals. In addition, Hat World must conduct annual training for Virginia employees and their supervisors on Title VII and its prohibition against retaliation and on the company’s antidiscrimination policy. Finally, Hat World must post a notice concerning the lawsuit and provide the EEOC with periodic reports.

The EEOC filed its lawsuit in the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division; the case is No. 2:19-cv-00314-RBS-LRL.

Age discrimination suit filed. White River Health System, Inc., a provider of health care services throughout North Central Arkansas, violated the ADEA by removing a class of employees from their positions because of their age, the EEOC has charged in a lawsuit.

According to the suit, in October 2018, the company’s area director told two senior center directors, then ages 77 and 80, that White River Health System had decided to terminate their employment effective immediately because the company’s insurance policy excluded anyone over the age of 72 from driving. The EEOC further charged that White River Health removed other employees over the age of 72 from their positions for the same reason. The company made no attempt to secure alternative driver's insurance that would cover the employees, the EEOC said.

The EEOC brought its lawsuit in the Eastern District of Arkansas, Northern Division; the case is No. 3:20-cv-00049.

New sexual harassment suit. Vinca Enterprises, Inc., and Puri Group of Enterprises, Inc., which co-operate a DoubleTree Hotel in Jefferson City, Missouri, violated Title VII when they allowed a male room inspector to sexually harass a female housekeeper, a new lawsuit alleges. According to the federal agency, the companies failed to stop the room inspector from regularly making offensive sexual comments and engaging in unwanted physical contact with a female housekeeper, even though they were aware of the harassment.

The EEOC filed its lawsuit in the Western District of Missouri; the case is No. 2:20-cv-04021-NKL.

Companies: Rainbow Tree LLC; Persian Room Fine Dining; Hat World, Inc.; Lids; White River Health System, Inc.; Vinca Enterprises, Inc.; Puri Group of Enterprises, Inc.; DoubleTree Hotel

News: AgencyNews Discrimination AgeDiscrimination Discharge SexualHarassment SexDiscrimination Retaliation

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