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EEOC settles case involving use of security video to ogle female worker


A Minnesota office furniture and supply company has agreed to pay $11,000 to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case in which the agency charged that an operations manager used the company's security camera system to stream footage of a female employee's breasts and body onto his computer.

The EEOC said Wednesday that its investigation at Worthington, Minn.-based Davis Typewriter Co. indicated that when the employee learned of her manager's surreptitious surveillance and notified another manager and the firm's owner, the company failed to take sufficient steps to correct the behavior or prevent it from occurring again. The agency's lawsuit said because of this, the employee was forced to quit. The incidents occurred between March and July 2010, according to the agency.

In addition to the $11,000 cash payment, the two-year consent decree settling the case establishes an injunction prohibiting Davis Typewriter from permitting the creation of a sexually hostile work environment, and requires it to take prompt corrective action when notified of sexually harassment complaints.

The agreement also provides that the company provide a positive employment reference to the former female employee, among other measures.

“Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to be a prevalent workplace problem,” said John Hendrickson, the EEOC regional attorney in Chicago, in a statement. “The EEOC will continue to work to eradicate these discriminatory workplace conditions. We will be watching Davis Typewriter closely for the next two years to ensure that its promises to take this issue seriously are fulfilled.”

Davis Typewriter attorney Jennifer G. Lurken, an attorney with Maschka, Riedy & Ries Law Firm in Mankato, Minn., said her clients are “not admitting liability, but made a business decision to resolve this matter at this time.”