Sexual Harassment and Same-Sex Touching

An employer was ordered to pay a $300,000 award to a former employee who was a victim of same-sex harassment by a co-worker.  The employer failed to take appropriate action after the employee complained that a male co-worker repeatedly touched his buttocks.  The employee reported two incidents and that he told the male co-worker to stop.  In the third incident the employee bent over to pick up a box and the male co-worker grabbed his hips from behind and began rubbing the employee’s crotch to simulate sex.  The employee reported all three incidents to the manager and documented the incidents in a letter.  The company delayed investigating because the supervisor was on vacation.  The employee was sent back to work with the male co-worker.  Despite three managers recommending termination, the decision was made to suspend the male co-worker for short time, even though he previously received a written warning about a similar complaint.  The employee was unable to work due to anxiety.  He filed suit in US District Court and was awarded $300,000 in compensatory damages.

If you hear of an incident directly or indirectly, please report it to Amy Burns, Michelle Gaines, or Elayne Siegfried.  We do not tolerate sexual harassment of any kind.

HR Magazine May 2016, “Sexual Harassment Award for Same-Sex Touching Upheld”, Jeffrey L. Rhodes

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