Staffing company settles lawsuit alleging worker threatened for reporting sexual harassment
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Staffing company settles lawsuit alleging worker threatened for reporting sexual harassment

By WK Editorial Staff

The male manager allegedly asked the employee why she reported his misconduct and threatened her; she quit as a result.

Chicago-based Staff Management | SMX (SMX), which provides temporary employees to the light-industrial sector worldwide, has agreed to pay a female former employee $50,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the EEOC, the agency announced June 17.

Why sexual harassment isn’t reported. The EEOC filed suit against the company in February 2018, charging that a male manager at an SMX worksite in Kansas City, Kansas, made explicit sexual comments to female employees and demanded sexual favors from them. Although one victim complained, the harassment continued, including the male manager exposing himself to her, according to the suit. After the victim again complained about the harassment, SMX investigated but allowed the manager to return to work. When the manager threatened the woman and demanded to know why she reported his misconduct, the distressed and dejected employee quit.

In addition to the monetary relief, the three-year consent decree settling the suit enjoins SMX from violating Title VII in the future. It also orders that SMX train its temporary employees at worksites in Kansas and Missouri on identifying and reporting sexual harassment; increase sexual harassment training for its investigators who handle sexual harassment complaints; and provide regular reports to the EEOC regarding sexual harassment complaints and how it handles those complaints.

"Employers need to understand that anti-harassment policies and procedures, however good in theory, must be vigorously applied and enforced to protect all employees," said L. Jack Vasquez, Jr., director of the EEOC's St. Louis District Office. "Unambiguous, comprehensive, and frequent harassment training is crucial to prevent harassment and retaliation."

The EEOC filed its lawsuit (EEOC v. SMX, LLC dba Staff Management | SMX, No. 2:18-cv-2058) in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Companies: SMX, LLC; Staff Management | SMX

News: AgencyNews Discrimination SexualHarassment SexDiscrimination Retaliation

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