Federal officials allege in a lawsuit that Happy Valley LLC d/b/a Happy Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation in Malvern, Ark., failed to address sexual harassment complaints made by female employees and terminated those employees for complaining of the harassment in violation of federal law.
According to the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the company received reports of the harassment as early as May 2016 and as recent as May 2018.
The EEOC alleges that it was common knowledge among Happy Valley employees that if one complained about sexual harassment, the company would terminate the employee. Rather than punishing the harasser, the company would punish those who complained. As a result, several employees decided not to report the harassment for fear of losing their jobs.
Although the company informed the women who did report harassment that it would take action, the company failed to take any action against the harasser. The EEOC alleges in its complaint that Happy Valley allowed the employee’s harassment to go unchecked.
The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas Hot Springs Division, Civil Action No. 6:18-cv-06089, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, compensation for lost benefits, and an injunction against future discrimination.
Happy Valley operates a nursing care facility in Malvern, Arkansas.
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