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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed seven lawsuits charging firms across the country with sexual harassment Wednesday, which it said should reinforce to employers that harassment violates federal law.
In a statement Thursday, EEOC Acting Chairwoman Victoria A. Lipnic said, “As the nation has seen over the past nine months, harassment at work can affect individuals for years in their careers and livelihood.
“There are many consequences that flow from harassment not being addressed in our nation’s workplaces. These suits filed by the EEOC around the country are a reminder that a federal enforcement action by the EEOC is potentially one of those consequences.”
The lawsuits said:
- Bayou LaBartre, Alabama-based Master Marine Inc., a shipbuilder, allegedly sexually and racially harassed a male Asian-American welder at its headquarters.
-Santa Barbara, California-based Real Time Staffing Services Inc., which does business as Select Staffing, was sued in Albuquerque for allegedly allowing a group of female employees to be subjected to sexual harassment while they were working at the Public Records Act unit of the Albuquerque Police Department.
-Georgetown, South Carolina-based G2 Corp., which does business as Screen Tight, allegedly subjected a female worker at its Patio Screen Door Fabrication warehouse in Corsicana, Texas, to unwelcome physical and verbal sexual harassment by a production manager and another high-level corporate office.
-Springfield, Missouri-based new Prime Trucking Inc. allegedly failed to take adequate steps to prevent the sexual harassment of a female truck driver.
-Paramount, California-based Sierra Creative Systems Inc., a printing, mailing and fulfillment company doing business as “Addressers,” allegedly failed to prevent and correct ongoing sexual harassment, sex-based harassment and retaliation against female employees, according to the EEOC.
-South El Monte, California-based Tapioca Express, a milk tea franchise, and two of its franchisees were charged with allegedly subjecting female employees to sexual harassment.
-Cincinnati-based Total Maintenance Solutions Inc., a commercial cleaning and construction clean-up company, allegedly subjected an employee to a sexually hostile work environment.
Company spokespeople could not immediately be reached or refused to comment.
On Monday, the EEOC reconvened its Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace.
Commissioner Chai Feldblum said in a statement about the meeting, “Our challenge is to use this ‘#MeToo’ moment well. We have a road map given the work we have done at the EEOC. We have the attention and commitment of the range of different actors in society that we need. Together, we can channel that energy to create significant and sustainable change.”
A District Court jury decided against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Friday in a case in which it had charged a rental firm with violating federal law by firing a transgender employee.