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A provider of call center services charged with sexual harassment and retaliation will pay $600,000 to settle U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sexual harassment charges.
Los Angeles-based VXI Global Solutions L.L.C. was sued by the EEOC in September 2014 for allegedly creating a hostile working environment for male and female African-American and Latino employees, by both male and female supervisors.
Since 2009 at VXI’s Los Angeles facility, female employees had been subjected to unsolicited groping and sexual propositioning by male supervisors, and female supervisors had made unwelcome sexual advances and gave unwanted lap dances to male employees. Male employees were accused of being gay because of their objection to the advances from female supervisors, according to court records.
Supervisors allegedly threatened the staff to discourage complaints, and reporting the harassment was unsuccessful because of a lack of availability of human resources personnel. Once VXI Global Solutions’ human resources personnel and supervisors were made aware of the harassment, victims of the harassment were disciplined and terminated in retaliation, court records say.
In addition to the $600,000 settlement, VXI Global Solutions will retain an equal employment opportunity consultant to revise the company’s policies and procedures with respect to sexual harassment and retaliation. The call center also will provide training in those areas to all employees nationwide along with additional training for management and human resources personnel on how to effectively deal with sexual harassment and retaliation complaints.
VXI Global also agreed to maintain a centralized system to track internal sexual harassment and retaliation complaints; conduct surveys at company sites in Los Angeles, Texas and Ohio; and to post a notice on the matter at the Los Angeles site. EEOC will monitor compliance with the four-year consent decree.
“Employers must take more proactive steps to address complaints of sexual harassment,” Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for EEOC’s Los Angeles District, said Monday in a statement. “It is also illegal under federal law to retaliate against employees who exercise their right to report harassment or discrimination.”
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