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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Friday it has filed suit against a Colorado nursing home operator for tolerating its female employees’ sexual harassment.
The EEOC said in its statement that clients at the San Juan Living Center, which is operated by Montrose, Colorado-based Sava Senior Care LLC, repeatedly subjected female employees to sexual harassment, including grabbing their breasts and buttocks, asking them for sexual favors and using inappropriate sexual language around them.
The EEOC said also that Sava did nothing to stop the harassment or prevent future harassment despite the female employees’ complaints. It alleged Sava retaliated against a female employee who reported the harassment by suspending her without pay and firing her within days of her complaint.
Sava Care and affiliated units SSC Montrose San June Operating Co. LLC and SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services LLC are charged with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The agency said the lawsuit was filed after it first attempted to reach a voluntary settlement. It seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the female employee subjected to the alleged sexual harassment, back pay for the employee subjected to the alleged retaliation and appropriate injunctive relief, the agency said in its statement.
Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Phoenix district office, said in a statement, “Employers must ensure that their employees can work in an environment free from sexual harassment.
“When an employer learns that an employee is being sexually harassed, the employer must act immediately regardless of whether the alleged harasser is a manager, employee, or client.”
The nursing home did not respond to a request for comment.
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