According to EEOC’s lawsuit, a district manager touched female employees in vulgar personal and sexual ways, touching their breasts, backsides, arms, and lower backs and pressing up against, grinding into, or brushing them with his crotch. The lawsuit further alleges that the former manager would make comments of a sexual nature, calling female employees “baby,” “beautiful,” and “bitch,” and commenting on their dress and physical appearance, including their supposed need to lose weight or wear tighter clothing. The EEOC said that the manager also discussed his sex life with female employees and asked about, or commented on, their sex lives or sexual preferences.
According to the sex harassment lawsuit, female employees complained to senior management, but nothing was done. The EEOC said that with no end in sight to this harassment, some employees felt compelled to resign. Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination — including harassment — because of sex.
In addition to the $32,000 in monetary relief, the three-year consent decree resolving the suit requires that GRK not rehire the harassing manager; provide extensive training to two managers assuming responsibility for preventing and remedying harassment; and train all employees and managers regarding the statutes enforced by the EEOC and GRK’s revised anti-discrimination policy. GRK must also promptly report to the EEOC about its handling of sexual harassment complaints. The EEOC will monitor GRK’s compliance with these obligations for the next three years.
“The brave workers who came forward made this settlement possible,” said an EEOC trial attorney who litigated this case. “Thanks to them, future GRK employees will be better protected from sexual harassment.”