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Company Owner Forced Worker To Endure Unlawful Sexual Harassment EEOC Lawsuit Alleges

Business man harassing  colleague in office

For the past two decades, our Ocala, Florida sexual harassment victims’ lawyers have fought for the rights of Florida employees who have been required to work in a sexually hostile work environment. Having litigated sexual harassment cases in Florida courts for more than twenty years, our Marion County, Florida sexual harassment victims’ attorneys know that many workers are sexually harassed by upper management employees, including the owner, CEO, or president of a company. In this article, our Ocala, Florida sexual harassment victims’ lawyers explain how a sexual harassment case which was recently settled by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) demonstrates that sexual harassment victims are protected under federal employment discrimination law when they are harassed by upper management employees.

Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

On June 7, 2021, the EEOC issued a press release announcing that it has entered into a Consent Decree settling a sexual harassment lawsuit against Total Maintenance Solutions, Inc. (TMS). On June 13, 2018, the EEOC filed the sexual harassment case, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Total Maintenance Solutions, Inc.,Case No. 1:18-cv-00413, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. In the Consent Decree, which was endorsed by U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Barrett on June 7, 2021, TMS agreed to pay $22,500 to resolve the sexual harassment lawsuit.

Rights Of Sexual Harassment Victims

The EEOC filed the sexual harassment lawsuit pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) on behalf of a former employee of TMS, Aaliya Thomas (Thomas). Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex. In Meritor Sav. Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sexual harassment which is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create a hostile or abusive working environment violates Title VII. The Meritor Court explained that employees are not required to run a “gauntlet of sexual abuse in return for the privilege of being allowed to work and make a living.” Title VII protects employees against sexual harassment in the workplace from co-workers, supervisors, managers, owners, clients, and customers.

The EEOC claims that TMS violated Title VII because its owner subjected Thomas to a sexually hostile work environment. The EEOC further claims that TMS violated Title VII by terminating Thomas’ employment in retaliation for her complaints of sexual harassment.

Sexual Misconduct By Company Owner Alleged

TMS is a commercial cleaning company. In June 2017, TMS hired Thomas as an office manager. Throughout her employment, the EEOC contends, Thomas was subjected to unwanted sexually harassing behavior by the owner of TMS. The owner’s alleged sexual harassment towards Thomas included sexual remarks, comments about her body, and calling her at night after work hours suggesting a sexual relationship. Despite Thomas’ repeated complaints about the sexually hostile work environment, the owner would not stop the sexually harassing behavior. After making repeated verbal complaints about the sexual harassment to the owner, Thomas sent a text message to the owner asking him to stop the harassment. In retaliation, the EEOC maintains, the owner ordered Thomas to clean the office restroom, a duty not in her job description. When Thomas refused to clean the restroom, the owner fired Thomas.

Attorneys For Sexual Harassment Victims

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States charged with interpreting and enforcing the federal civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In order to deter and punish employers who require their employees to work in a sexually hostile work environment, the EEOC brings lawsuits in federal court on behalf of sexual harassment victims.

In a press release issued by the EEOC on June 7, 2021 regarding the case, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office, Kenneth Bird, explained that “sexual harassment is a form of discrimination, it is illegal and will not be tolerated.” “While that should be clear by now to all employers,” Mr. Bird observed, “some continue to ignore the law.” “Employers should be on notice,” Mr. Bird added, “that the EEOC will act aggressively to protect people from this type of discrimination.”

Ocala, FL Sexual Harassment Victims’ Attorneys

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida sexual harassment victims’ lawyers have dedicated their practice to representing sexual harassment victims. If you have been forced to work in a sexually hostile environment or have questions about an employer’s obligation to protect you from sexual harassment in the workplace, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida sexual harassment victims’ attorneys. Our employee rights law firm takes sexual harassment cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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