Putting this case aside for a moment, it (the ruling) IS justified from the standpoint more often than not whenever the EEOC makes an accusation, you are “automatically” 100% guilty in their eyes until/unless you prove to them to the contrary.
I would like to think that if they pursue, they think you are guilty. What bothers me about this is a legal system more interested in the letter of the law than in finding justice for the victims. It happens more often than you can count. Making it harder for victims to find justice should not be the goal. Ferreting out the unsubstantiated accusations and supporting restitution for those treated improperly by those in a position of authority should be the primary focus of any EEOC action. Business has the social responsibility to protect their employees from this type of harrassment in addition to making a buck.
GOOD LUCK getting the EEOC to investigate individual claims and pursue individual mediations. I wonder how this judge can sleep at night.
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The judge is correct, MP, and I am sure she (note that the judge is a woman) sleeps just fine. She didn’t disregard the plight of the female trainees. They were victims. Or at least some of them were. But what she did is put up a shield for businesses who are always at the mercy for the EEOC and their heavy-handed tactics. There has to be some proof of discrimination, and evidence that it is not a few isolated cases, before a class action can be taken against a corporation or industry.
I have had some interactions with EEOC as well as some state human rights agencies. EEOC is fairly week, but they do have people that try against heavy odds and in light of limited resources. The state agencies seem to be almost completely ineffective, particularly Illinois. The situation is so bad in IL that the plaintiff’s bar is constantly trying to modify the statute to eliminate them from the equation. In past few years they have gotten changes allowing the right to demand that EEOC take the lead, and for a civil right of action (suit).
Given that administrative process is supposed to encourage objective analysis and negotiation and settlement of legitimate claims, and given that it is required prior to litigation for the plaintiff, it is too bad that it is not more effective. Right now it is mostly a waste of time and money in my opinion.
How about some training for the employee? Tell the pervert from the beginning that you will not stand for that type of behavior. If possible say it in front of other people. Set the ground rules. Second time report him/her to the immediate supervisor in writing. Email works great. Third follow up with the company as to what measures are in place to stop this co-worker abuse. If employee is uncomfortable with the situation, contact the supervisor for a plane ticket home. The employee’s do not need a lawyer, they need training for themselves and their co-workers. And its not just the men. As a woman, I say speak up for yourself (yes, we have to do that sometimes albeit uncomfortable) and if that doesn’t work pull the truck over and catch another ride….
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