This past week the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the filing of seven lawsuits alleging unlawful harassment and also the settlement of a harassment case. Two of the lawsuits that the EEOC filed and the one that it settled allege harassment against a class of employees. In the case that settled, the EEOC secured $3.5 million for the victims and will require the employer to provide training to its employees, revamp its policies, and the EEOC will monitor the employer for a period of three years.
“Workplace harassment causes serious harm to women and men in all kinds of jobs across the country,” said EEOC Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic. “These lawsuits allege harassment based on race, national origin and sex and involve workers at country clubs and cleaners, sports bars and airlines, in health care and grocery stores. When employers fail to protect their employees from harassment, the EEOC may bring legal action to stop the harassment and prevent future harm.”
The seven lawsuits involve not only sexual harassment but also racial harassment, harassment based on national origin, and retaliatory harassment. Retaliatory harassment is a common occurrence and is one major reason why harassment victims often choose not to complain about harassment.