$195,000 Settlement in Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Case Against Hotel and Resort, Training Ordered

Friday, November 9, 2012

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

DNC Parks & Resorts at Tenaya, Inc. which operates Tenaya Lodge, a hotel and resort near Yosemite National Park in California, will pay $195,000 and furnish other relief to settle a federal charge of sexual harassment and retaliation.  

In 2010, a female employee filed the EEOC charge of discrimination alleging that a male supervisor made sexual comments and referenced an image of a sexual nature.  The female employee further alleged that upon reporting the sexual harassment, the male supervisor retaliated against her by issuing written discipline and treating her differently.  

Following an EEOC investigation, the director of EEOC's Fresno Local Office determined that there was reasonable cause to believe that the female employee was sexually harassed due to her gender, female, and that she was subjected to retaliation for reporting the harassment, a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  The EEOC also found reasonable cause to believe that a class of other female employees was also sexually harassed due to gender.  Tenaya Lodge denied the allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation, and the company did not admit to liability while agreeing to settle the matter.

Following the EEOC's determination, the EEOC entered into a one-year conciliation agreement with Tenaya Lodge and the female employee in question.  The agreement effectively settles the case administratively, thereby avoiding litigation.  The agreement provides for $100,000 in monetary relief for the female employee who filed the EEOC charge.  An additional $95,000 is designated as a class fund for eligible claimants who also encountered sexual harassment and/or retaliation while working at Tenaya Lodge.  

Aside from the monetary relief, Tenaya Lodge will provide equal employment opportunity training for all current employees and, thereafter, for all new hires in the language that the employee understands, along with additional training for managerial and human resources staff on how to deal with discrimination, harassment and retaliation.  Tenaya Lodge also agreed to post a notice about the settlement in English and Spanish; to report future instances of discrimination to the EEOC; and to publicize the settlement via press release.  

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