Female Employee Resigned Over Co-Worker Harassment, Federal Agency Charged
CHARLOTTE – Hunter Auto & Wrecker Service, Inc., a Charlotte, North Carolina-based towing business, will pay $19,000 and provide other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Hunter Auto violated federal law when it subjected a female employee to a sexually hostile work environment. Between March and August of 2018, a female office employee was subjected to unwelcome and offensive sexual conduct and comments by several male co-workers. Though the female employee complained to company management about the sexual harassment, management did not take effective action to stop the harassment. On August 28, 2018, she resigned as a direct result of the ongoing sexual harassment.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment. The EEOC filed its lawsuit (EEOC v. Hunter Auto & Wrecker Service, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:19-cv-00295-FDW-DCK) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.
In addition to providing monetary relief for the employee, the two-year consent decree settling the lawsuit requires Hunter Auto to adopt a written anti-discrimination policy that includes a procedure for investigating employee complaints. The company will also provide annual training to all employees on Title VII and sexual harassment; post a notice concerning its obligations under Title VII; and provide periodic reports to the EEOC on all employee complaints about sex-based conduct or comments.
“Employers have an obligation to eliminate workplace sexual harassment and take every complaint seriously.,” said Kara Haden, acting regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “Effective reporting procedures and a willingness to address sexually inappropriate conduct are necessary to create a work environment free of discrimination.”
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.