Shelley’s Septic System to Pay $ 82,500 to Settle EEOC’s Sexual Harassment and Gay Retaliation Lawsuit | United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Company owner victimized driver and fired him when he complained to sheriff, federal agency charged
ORLANDO, Florida – Shelley’s Septic Tank, Inc., a Florida-based company operating in the Orlando area, has agreed to pay $ 82,500 and provide other action to settle a lawsuit for similar sexual harassment and retaliation. sex filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
The EEOC accused Shelley of violating federal law when a driver was sexually harassed by the business owner and fired in retaliation for complaining to the sheriff’s office about the harassment.
According to the EEOC lawsuit, the male owner of the business repeatedly made sexual comments to a male employee. He also had unwelcome physical contact with the employee. After repeatedly objecting to the inappropriate conduct, the employee reported the inappropriate sexual conduct to the Sheriff’s Office in an attempt to end the harassment. Shortly after the employee’s complaint, sheriff’s deputies informed the owner of the employee’s allegations, and he indicated that he would retaliate against the employee. The owner did so by firing the employee on the first day the employee returned to work after the complaint, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation against workers who oppose such discrimination. The EEOC filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of Florida (EEOC v. Shelley’s Septic Tank, Inc.; Civil Action # 6: 20-CV-01285-CEM-LRH) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the $ 82,500 monetary relief, the three-year consent decree regulating the lawsuit requires Shelley’s to develop and distribute a written anti-discrimination policy and conduct anti-discrimination training. Shelley’s is also required to post a notice at its workplace regarding the lawsuit and submit written reports twice a year to the EEOC.
“Sexual harassment of employees violates federal law regardless of the gender of the victim or the harasser,” said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the Miami District Office of the EEOC. “These regulations confirm the EEOC’s commitment to end sexual harassment and retaliation in the American workplace.”
Paul Valenti, Director of the Miami District Office of the EEOC, added, “This executive order sends a strong message to businesses and business owners that failing to prevent and address sexual harassment against employees, especially when perpetrated by management, will have serious consequences.
The EEOC’s Miami District office includes offices in Miami, Tampa, and San Juan, and has jurisdiction over most of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Miami District of the EEOC employs several bilingual investigators who speak English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, French and Portuguese.
The EEOC advances opportunities in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.