$77,500 Settlement in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Pharmaceutical Drug Wholesaler, Training Ordered

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Question:  Would sexual harassment training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.

Guam and  Micronesia’s leading pharmaceutical drug wholesaler, MD Wholesale, will pay  $77,500 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal  Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Two female employees at MD  Wholesale’s facility in Taminung, Guam, were sexually harassed by a male  supervisor since at least 2008, according to the EEOC.  The harassment included verbal and physical  conduct of a sexual nature, creating a hostile work environment, the EEOC said.   The company did not have an anti-harassment  policy in place at the time the harassment occurred.  The EEOC argued that MD Wholesale was liable  because the company took no measures to prevent the harassment from occurring  and failed to take effective action to stop the harassment, despite complaints  to an assistant manager. 

Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights  Act of 1964.  Following an investigation,  the EEOC filed its lawsuit in September 2011 in U.S. District Court for the  District of Guam (EEOC v. Mariano Prime  LLC dba MD Wholesale, Case No. 11-00029) after first attempting to settle  the matter through its conciliation process. 

As part of the settlement, the parties  entered into a three-year consent decree requiring MD Wholesale to revise its  sexual harassment policy and complaint procedure and retain an equal employment  opportunity (EEO) coordinator to ensure all staff are trained regarding their  rights with respect to discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the  workplace.  MD Wholesale agreed to provide  additional training for management and human resources officials so that they  are equipped to appropriately deal with future EEO complaints.  Aside from the monetary relief for the  victims, MD Wholesale will also track future complaints by creating a  centralized tracking system, and the EEOC will monitor compliance with the  agreement as well as review MD Wholesale's handling of future EEO complaints.

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