In a surprising move in a federal court recently, the mortgage corporation giant, J. P. Morgan Chase & Company, will have to pay a fine of almost $1.5 million due to a charge of sexual harassment in the workplace. The legal dictionary defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment. It is said that the company had an unhealthy work environment that was hostile toward women who were bankers that processed and sold mortgages in an office that is located near Columbus, Ohio.
The lawsuit said that there was an atmosphere in the office that would indicate that sexual behavior and comments were welcomed by management and by other employees who were at the level of mortgage brokers. There was a “sexist atmosphere,” and the lawsuit indicated that women bankers who sold mortgages alongside their male counterparts either put up with this type of behavior, or they were literally frozen out by not having the opportunity to make sales calls that would bring them needed income and other gain.
The United States Equal Opportunity Commission says that the money awarded in this suit will be divided between 16 females who were located at the bank’s call center near Columbus, Ohio, in the Polaris Park office compound. While the head office said it does not condone sexual harassment in the workplace, it must still pay the settlement.
If you find yourself in this type of harsh work environment, you may need to speak with an attorney who is skilled in this type of situation. There is no place for this behavior in the workplace, and no one should be punished for not accepting sexual advances.
Source: New York Post, “JPMorgan pays $1.5M for sexual harassment lawsuit” No author given, Feb. 05, 2014