Call Center Settles Sexual Harassment Suit
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has agreed to settle a harassment suit that it brought against VXI Global Solutions in Los Angeles for sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. VXI was a provider of call center services for large national companies. According to the suit, male and female employees endured such severe sexual harassment that it created a hostile work environment. Specifically, male supervisors had subjected female employees to continued sexual propositioning, obscene sexual comments, and unsolicited groping and touching. Female supervisors subjected male employees to repeated sexual advances, obscene language, and physical touching. The same male employees were also subjected to gender stereotyping when their supervisors accused them of being gay because they objected to the harassing behavior.
The supervisors in question also allegedly threatened staff to keep them from filing complaints. Human resources personnel were constantly unavailable, which kept employees from reporting the conduct. Additionally, several victims were disciplined or terminated once human resources staff or supervisors were informed of the harassment.
Employers are liable for unlawful sexual harassment if committed by a supervisor with immediate or higher authority over the employee. Supervisors don’t need to be direct supervisors that control an employee’s daily work activities– if they have the authority to undertake or recommend tangible employment decisions affecting the employee, then they are supervisors under the act.
Additionally, employers must prohibit management from taking adverse actions against individuals for filing harassment complaints or otherwise opposing such harassing conduct in the workplace. Disciplinary actions that penalize complainants for reporting harassment may constitute unlawful retaliation in violation of Title VII.
Sexual harassment remains to be a pervasive issue even in today’s modern workplace. If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment at work, contact Dejban Law to help you enforce your right to a harassment-free workplace. Contact us now by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone us at (818) 325-3820 for a free and confidential initial consultation.