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Condo association settles sexual harassment case for more than $1 million

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A Vail, Colorado, condominium association and its management company have agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission national origin and discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit involving Mexican workers.

The EEOC said in a statement Friday that Vail Run Community Resort Association Inc. violated federal law by allowing a housekeeping manager to sexually harass Mexican female employees, including attempted rape.

The agency said the defendants, which also included management company Vail-based Global Hospitality Resorts Inc. also retaliated against the men and women who complained about the harassment to management and the owner.

The EEOC said the manager had targeted Mexican immigrants, threatening them with job loss and deportation if they refused his advances. Workers who complained to management “were met with anger and indifference,” said the statement.

In addition to paying $1.02 million, under terms of the settlement decree, a Spanish-speaking monitor will oversee its implementation for up to five years, which includes semi-annual training for managers on sexual harassment and the responsibilities of managers once a report of sexual harassment is made.

EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez said in a statement, “This is the latest in a series of enforcement efforts demonstrating the Commission's resolve to enforce the anti-discrimination laws on behalf of all who live in this country and work for an employer covered by the law. This includes those living and working in the shadows who are particularly vulnerable to discrimination."

The defendants' attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

In December, the agency said a now-bankrupt ship building and repair company would pay about $5 million to settle an EEOC race and national origin discrimination case involving 476 Indian guest workers who were subjected to harsh living conditions.