Women fired for sexual harassment complaints win settlement

| Feb 24, 2016 | Sexual Harassment |

The struggles of immigrant workers extend beyond California. A sexual harassment case at a resort in Colorado illustrates the abuses some workers face. The case arose at 54-unit ski resort timeshare managed by Global Hospitality Resorts, and it resulted in the employer agreeing to a $1 million settlement.

Upper management at the resort ignored the complaints of staff who said a housekeeping supervisor harassed them sexually. The abuses detailed in the court papers included demands by the supervisor for sexual favors and an alleged physical assault. The supervisor reportedly offered more hours or promotions to those who accepted his sexual advances. Complaints from the staff were met with threats of dismissal or deportation.

With assistance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a Denver law firm, eight resort employees filed the lawsuit last July. This response came after extended legal battles between two of the workers and the supervisor. After filing police reports, the two women obtained restraining orders against the supervisor. Criminal charges emerged from their complaints, but the employer paid the legal bills for the defense of the supervisor. The two women who went to the police were fired. The employer admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement. The funds will be split among the eight plaintiffs.

An employer has a legal obligation to protect workers from sexual harassment on the job. Someone experiencing unwanted sexual advances at work might choose to consult an attorney if the employer does not resolve the situation. After a review of the facts and evidence, the attorney might recommend the filing of a claim with the EEOC.

Source: ABC News, “Workers Say Luxury Colorado Resort Allowed Sexual Harassment”, Sadie Gurman, Feb. 16, 2016

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