Phoenix School Pays $41,000 to Settle EEOC Claim

May 31, 2011

A Phoenix, Ariz. charter school will pay $41,125 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency announced.

The EEOC’s suit alleged that Rafael Andaverde, the husband of the owner and director of ACCLAIM Charter School, doing business as ACCLAIM Academy, sexually harassed at least two female school employees. His illegal conduct continued even after complaints were made to the administration, the EEOC said.

The EEOC said it filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to monetary payment, the settlement includes a consent decree entered by the court, requiring ACCLAIM Academy to revise policies and provide training to all employees about sex discrimination, including sexual harassment. The decree further provides that the harasser will not be hired by the school or be on school premises when females or children are present. All employees of the school are to be warned about disciplinary action if there is a recurrence of the misconduct.

ACCLAIM also will be enjoyed for four years from retaliating or otherwise violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and that its policies reflect the law against sex discrimination, EEOC said.

“ACCLAIM Academy caused employees emotional distress by allowing a hostile work environment to be created and then continue,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Guy Knoller. “Mr. Andaverde’s conduct should have been curtailed, even though he was married to the director and owner of the school.”

Source: EEOC

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