Chicago-based Staff Management | SMX (SMX), which provides temporary employees to the light-industrial sector worldwide, will pay $50,000 to a female former employee and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by federal officials.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against the company in February 2018, alleging SMX violated federal law when a male manager at an SMX worksite in Kansas City, Kansas, made explicit sexual comments to female employees and demanded sexual favors from them.
Although one victim complained, the harassment continued, including the male manager exposing himself to her, according to the suit. After the victim again complained about the harassment, SMX investigated but allowed the manager to return to work. When the manager threatened the woman and demanded to know why she reported his misconduct, the distressed and dejected employee quit.
The EEOC filed its lawsuit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. SMX, LLC d/b/a Staff Management | SMX, Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-2058) in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the monetary relief, the three-year consent decree settling the suit enjoins SMX from violating Title VII in the future. It also orders SMX to train its temporary employees at worksites in Kansas and Missouri on identifying and reporting sexual harassment, and increase sexual harassment training for its investigators who handle sexual harassment complaints for the company.
The company will also provide regular reports to the EEOC regarding sexual harassment complaints and how it handles those complaints.
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