Ever wonder just how expensive settling an Equal Employment Opportunity lawsuit can be? Check out these two recent cases.
A North Carolina sewing contractor agreed to pay $75,000 to settle the EEOC’s claim it had subjected an employee to harassment based on his Hispanic heritage.
The EEOC charged that workers at B.J. Con/Sew Corporation subjected Jason Ramirez, who has one Hispanic parent, to the harassment on a near-daily basis for almost two years.
During that time, one of Ramirez’s co-workers called him derogatory names including “wetback,” “crazy Mexican,” “dumb, stupid Mexican” and “half-breed,” the EEOC said. The complaint also alleged that Ramirez was harassed by a second co-worker, who was later promoted to a supervisory role over Ramirez.
Ramirez filed numerous complaints to multiple levels of management including the company’s plant manager and owner, but the harassment continued, the agency said.
Ramirez finally resigned and filed a claim with the EEOC.
Beside the $75,000 settlement, the company agreed to conduct annual harassment training of its employees and managers, and make its anti-harassment policy available to all employees.
The company will also report all harassment complaints of national origin-based harassment to the EEOC for the next three years.
Sexual harassment and retaliation: $90k
The operators and management company of a Holiday Inn Express in South Carolina settled a sexual harassment and retaliation claim from three female employees for $90,000, the EEOC announced.
EEOC said Imperial Investments Greenville, Inc. and Imperial Investments Group, Inc., subjected Tamara Byrd, Pamela Kral, and Billie Jones to a sexually hostile work environment at the hotel. The lawsuit also alleged charged that Byrd was fired in retaliation for her complaints of sexual harassment to the corporate office.
The women claimed the hotel’s male general manager subjected them to sexual comments, sexual advances and unwelcome touching.
Along with the $90,000 payment to the three employees, the settlement also requires the redistribution of the companies’ sexual harassment policy, and requires annual training on sexual harassment and retaliation for the hotel’s managers, supervisors and employees.