The DoubleTree Hotel in Jefferson City, Mo., will pay $45,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed, federal employment officials say.
According to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an operator of the DoubleTree Hotel in Jefferson City violated federal law when it allowed a male room inspector to sexually harass a female housekeeper.
Specifically, the EEOC alleges that Vinca Enterprises Inc., which operates this DoubleTree Hotel in Missouri’s capital city, failed to stop the room inspector from regularly making offensive sexual comments and engaging in unwanted physical contact with a female housekeeper.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting it. The EEOC’s suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Vinca Enterprises, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:20-cv-04021-NKL) alleges that although management and an owner were aware of the inspector’s unwelcome comments and behavior, Vinca failed to investigate or take appropriate action to stop the unlawful harassment and protect the employee.
The two-year consent decree settling the suit requires Vinca Enterprises to pay compensatory damages to the housekeeper.
In addition, Vinca Enterprises will take steps to prevent future discrimination and harassment against employees. Vinca will hire a consultant to assess workplace risk factors associated with sexual harassment; report the consultant’s findings to the EEOC; implement stronger policies and procedures prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination; provide all employees with and clear guidance on sexual harassment; establish investigation procedures; and report sexual harassment complaints to the EEOC.
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