Tag Archives: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Aaron Rents settles EEOC sexual harassment lawsuit

The ‘rent-to-own’ retail chain Aaron Rents Inc. settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a young woman who was subjected to a sexually hostile work environment by the general manager of Aaron’s Fairview Heights store in Illinois. 

The store manager allegedly often made sexually explicit comments and requested sex from a 20-year-old employee.  The EEOC lawsuit stated that the manager “touched Alford’s body in a sexually offensive  manner on a number of occasions and he exposed himself to her several times.  Alford complained to her direct supervisor and called the company hotline but no action was taken to end the harassment. In October 2006, [the manager] sexually assaulted Alford in the Fairview Heights facility.”

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Texas oilfield service company pays $60,000 to settle race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit

In September, the EEOC announced that an oilfield service company based in Alice, Texas as agreed to pay $60,000 to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit against the company after it investigated complaints by a white worker who was discriminated against by his Hispanic managers because of his race.  After the worker complained to the HR department about the harassment and hostile work environment, the company allegedly fired him in retaliation. 

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Bahama Breeze pays $1.3 million to settle racial harassment lawsuit

The Bahama Breeze restaurant chain agreed to settle an EEOC racial harassment lawsuit filed on behalf of 37 black workers at the Bahama Breeze restaurant in Beachwood, Ohio.  Bahama Breeze has agreed to pay $1.26 million to settle the lawsuit.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had accused managers at the Beachwood restaurant of ongoing acts of racial harassment and workplace bullying directed against its black workers.  Black workers were frequently called offensive names such as “stupid n—–r,” “homeboy,” “Aunt Jemima,” and “you people.” 

Managers would imitate the stereotypical black mannerisms and speech.  In addition, black workers were often denied breaks while their white coworkers were allowed breaks.  Even though the workers complained about the harassment, Bahama Breeze management did not stop the abusive behavior.

EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru said, “No worker should ever have to endure a racially hostile work environment in order to earn a paycheck.  It is particularly disturbing when managers engage in and condone the very unlawful conduct they are required to prevent and correct.  This sizeable settlement should remind employers of the possible consequences of a failure to promote and maintain a discrimination-free workplace.”

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Phoenix car dealers pay $500,000 to settle EEOC sexual harassment lawsuit

Phoenix-based car dealerships Bell Road Kia and Bell Road Automall have agreed to pay $500,000 to five former employees to settle a racial and sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the EEOC.

The five employees were all allegedly demoted, terminated, or forced out after they complained about the harassment.  They claim that both dealerships knew about and tolerated a racially and sexually hostile work environment from 2002-2005 where female employees were propositioned for sexual favors and were called derogatory names.

The lawsuit claims that bosses at Bell Road Kia and Bell Road Automall often viewed pornography on company computers, and one manager masturbated while sitting behind a female employee.

The employees also allege that racial harassment and the use of racial slurs was common at the dealerships.  One manager allegedly told a black employee that he was “only needed when there was a black customer so he could speak his ebonics and close the deal.”

Robert Alexander, owner of Bell Road Kia, said, “We have no comment on the settlement or allegations with EEOC. We are family-owned and operated, we strive for a friendly and happy work environment for our employees.”

Robert Alexander and Allen Holzhauer sold the auto mall in 2007, but continue to manage Big Bell Road Kia.

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The EEOC sues M. Slavin & Sons fish market for ‘horrendous’ male on male sexual harassment

 

M. Slavin & Sons

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against M. Slavin & Sons, a fish market and retailer based in Brooklyn, for creating a hostile work environment for black male employees that included physical and verbal sexual harassment. 

In addition, the EEOC accused bosses at M. Slavin & Sons of making obscene and racist comments towards employees that included company owner Mitchell Slavin telling a black employee to “Go get it, n—-r.”  The complaint states that another manager called an employee “African bastard” and said, “Let me see you run like you are in Africa.”

The shocking male on male sexual harassment allegations accuse Barry Slavin, Jack Slavin, and Julio Pereira of “regularly grabbing or pinching male employees’ buttocks and pushing their penises against employees’ buttocks.”  Chuck Clayton, another boss at M. Slavin, is accused of “frequently jabbing fish hooks into male employees’ buttocks.”

The lawsuit alleges that a number of employees left their positions because of the harassment and that the man who originally complained faced retaliation.

Sunu P. Chandy, an attorney in the EEOC’s New York office, said, “The stunning facts of this case remind us of an ugly time in our nation’s history.  The actions of these white owners, who subjected particularly men of color to horrendous physical sexual harassment and racial comments, must be challenged.  When the employees said that they would fight back against the abuse, the owners consistently told them that no one would listen to their complaints and that no one would believe them.  This suit shows the owners were wrong.”

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Wisconsin IHOP ordered to pay $105,000 to sexual harassment victims

A federal jury has ordered the former owners of the IHOP restaurant in Racine, Wisconsin, to pay two former waitresses $105,000 in punitive damages for having been sexually harassed by their assistant manager.

The EEOC, which filed the lawsuit, said that the two waitresses were subjected to a hostile work environment that included “unwelcome physical touching, propositions for sex, and sexual comments.”  The two waitresses were teenagers at the time that the sexual harassment occurred in 2004 and 2005.

The lawsuit had claimed that the IHOP franchise ignored early complaints of sexual harassment and that the employee who filed the charge of discrimination suffered from retaliation and was fired after she complained about the harassment.

Other waitresses said they faced the same harassment.  They testified that Management Hospitality of Racine, the company that operated the IHOP, failed to correct the situation. The IHOP restaurant at which the servers were harassed was owned by Salauddin Janmohammed, and managed by a management consulting firm, Flipmeastack, which is owned by Janmohammed’s wife.

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Virginia law firm sued for discrimination and sexual harassment following “cucumber incident”

A Vietnamese former employee at Williams Mullen, a large law firm based in Richmond, Virginia, has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against the firm, accusing it of discrimination and sexual harassment.

The lawsuit states that Robert Eicher, a partner at Williams Mullen, “repeatedly engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviors and made ethnic slurs.  Shortly after (Hanh Nguyen) Allgood’s hire, Eicher approached Allgood in her cubicle, introduced himself and asked if she was from Viet Nam. When Allgood responded in the affirmative, he then gestured toward her genital area and asked whether her vagina was horizontal or vertical.”

Robert Eicher

In what the lawsuit refers to as the “cucumber incident,” Eicher allegedly put a cucumber in his pants pocket and then hugged and pressed the cucumber up against Allgood’s thigh desipte her attempts to pull away from him.  Allgood complained to management and other employees, several of whom told her that they were also victims of the cucumber incident.

The complaint states that Eicher “often walked around the firm dressed as a doctor showing his gloves and asking female staff if they wanted to be ‘examined.’  Eicher also had several sexual relationships with employees and publicly described his sexual encounters with them.”

Douglas Nabhan, another Williams Mullen partner, often made racially derogatory comments about Allgood’s meals insinuating that she prepared her food with dog and cat meat.  Nabhan also referred to Allgood’s ex-husband as “the wet back” because he is Hispanic.

Douglas Nabhan

Allgood claims that no action was taken by the firm to address her complaints of sexual harassment.  As a result, the sexually hostile work environment allegedly became worse for Allgood.  Moreover, the firm allegedly carried out a campaign of retaliation against Allgood as a result of her complaints, and she was ultimately fired in March 2007.

This is not the first workplace bullying lawsuit that was filed by employees against Williams Mullen.  Last year, seven former and current employees filed discrimination complaints with the EEOC claiming a hostile work environment.

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