Latina construction employees who were subjected to unwelcome sexual advances were awarded a $500,000 settlement in their sex harassment case by The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “EEOC” alleged that since 2017, Focus a plumbing company in Las Vegas Nevada, subjected a class of monolingual Spanish-speaking female employees to a hostile work environment and quid pro quo sexual harassment that included unwanted touching, groping, sexual advances, sexually offensive comments and requests. The EEOC’s lawsuit further alleged that employees were threatened if they rejected the sexual advances whereas others were offered better work assignments and hours if they acquiesced to sexual acts.
The alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment. The EEOC filed the sex harassment lawsuit in U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC’s lawsuit further alleged that employees were threatened if they rejected the sexual advances whereas others were offered better work assignments and hours if they acquiesced to sexual acts.
The consent decree resolving the EEOC’s lawsuit requires the plumbing company to pay $500,000 in monetary relief. In addition to monetary relief, the company will also provide specialized training on sexual harassment to human resources officers and managers to ensure they are aware of their obligations to prevent sexual harassment and how to address complaints. The decree also requires Focus to post a notice about the lawsuit, as well as hire an external equal employment opportunity monitor.
“I want to commend the women for their bravery in coming forward and speaking up about the atrocities they were subjected to,” said an EEOC spokesperson. “The EEOC has always focused on addressing harassment faced by the most vulnerable, especially in such fields as construction, and will continue to do so.”
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment or have questions about your rights as a worker, contact our attorneys at 212-583-9500.