The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reached a $155,000 settlement with a Charlotte, North Carolina, security firm that was charged with subjecting its male employees to sexual harassment and retaliation.
In a case filed last year, the agency said three male officers and “similarly situated male employees” of Metro Special Police & Security Services Inc. were sexually harassed by a male captain and a male lieutenant employed by the company.
The EEOC said the captain made offensive sexual comments to his male subordinate employees, solicited nude pictures from them, asked a male employee to undress in front of him and solicited male employees for sex, among other misconduct.
The captain and lieutenant allegedly forced male employees to accompany them to a gay strip club while on duty. The captain also intimately touched some of the male employees and offered promotions to certain employees in exchange for sex, according to the EEOC.
The company was charged with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In addition to paying monetary damages, a five-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit requires the company to revise its sexual harassment policy, among other provisions, the EEOC said Wednesday in a statement.
“All workers have the right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte district, in the statement. “No one should have to put up with sexual comments or touching while they are just trying to make a living. Employers need to halt or prevent it — and the best prevention is training supervisors and managers on how to put a stop to such misconduct as soon as it appears.”
The company's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. However, he denied the charges when the lawsuit was first filed.