Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
333 N.W. 3rd Avenue
Ocala, Florida 34475
James P. Tarquin, P.A Call for a FREE Consultation!352-401-7671
Employment Law News As part of our commitment to assist and educate employees in fighting back against the abusive employment practices of employers, we offer a broad range of information about employment law news for employees.

EEOC Lawsuit Alleges Employee Was Subjected To Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

red key reads workplace harassment

Having litigated sexual harassment lawsuits for nearly twenty years, our Marion County, Florida sexual harassment lawyers have learned that employers frequently fail to take complaints of same-sex sexual harassment seriously. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), employees are protected against sexual harassment by individuals of the opposite sex and the same sex. Once a victim makes a sexual harassment complaint, the employer is obligated to take prompt and effective remedial action that is reasonably calculated to end the harassment and prevent the harassment from recurring. When the employer takes no remedial action or when the remedial action does not end the harassment, the employer becomes liable for the past harassment and any future harassment.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it has filed a same-sex sexual harassment lawsuit against Porta Bella Restaurant (Porta Bella) pursuant to Title VII. On January 31, 2019, the EEOC filed the lawsuit, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. JCFB, Inc., d/b/a Porta Bella Restaurant, Case No. 5:19-cv-552, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California after initially attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its statutorily mandated conciliation process. The EEOC has filed the same-sex sexual harassment lawsuit on behalf of a former employee of Porta Bella, Salvador Martinez (Martinez). In this article, our Marion County, Florida sexual harassment lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations against Porta Bella.

EEOC Allegations Of Sexual Harassment

In January 2016, Martinez began working at Porta Bella as a line cook. Beginning in February 2016, according to the EEOC, a kitchen manager and a cook began subjecting Martinez to unwelcome physical touching by groping his genitals and buttocks. In February 2016 and April 2016, Martinez complained to his supervisor about the harassment. In response to his complaints, Martinez’s supervisor told him to “just ignore them” and then later said “it’s all just in good fun.” In April 2016, Martinez complained to the owners of Porta Bella that he was being inappropriately physically grabbed. One of the owners responded to the complaint by telling Martinez “they only play.”

In May 2016, Martinez’s supervisor grabbed his genitals. Martinez complained to an owner about the incident. When no action was taken in response to his complaint, Martinez then sent a letter in late May 2016 to the owners complaining about the harassment. The owners spoke to Martinez’s supervisor but took no further action to investigate Martinez’s complaints. In June 2016, Martinez complained about the harassment through an attorney. According to the EEOC, Martinez’s complaint was ignored. The EEOC alleges that after Martinez complained about unwanted sexual harassment from his supervisor, the supervisor became hostile, rude, and confrontational towards Martinez. The supervisor’s abusive behavior included violently shoving and physically attacking Martinez in July 2016.

Because Porta Bella failed to take prompt and effective corrective action to prevent the harassment from continuing despite Martinez’s complaints, the EEOC claims that Porta Bella created intolerable working conditions for Martinez. The EEOC further claims that Martinez’s working conditions were so intolerable that he was compelled to resign his employment on July 31, 2016. Thus, the EEOC maintains that Martinez was constructively discharged in violation of Title VII.

Employers Must Take Action To Stop Sexual Abuse

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. In enforcing the federal anti-discrimination laws, the EEOC is also authorized by federal law to bring lawsuits on behalf of victims of sexual harassment. In a press release issued by the EEOC regarding the case, the Director for the EEOC’s San Jose Office, Rosa Salazar, stated that “[e]mployers must protect their workers from sexual harassment and sexual abuse, no matter whether filed by a male or female employee.” Although Martinez notified management about the sexual harassment, Mr. Salazar added, his employer “failed to take prompt, effective action as federal law requires it to do.”

Free Consultation With Ocala Sexual Harassment Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, we have almost twenty years of experience representing sexual harassment victims in cases before the EEOC. If you have been the victim of same-sex sexual harassment or have questions about your employer’s obligation to protect you from sexual harassment in the workplace, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Marion County, Florida sexual harassment attorneys. Our employment and labor law attorneys take 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.

Designed and Powered by NextClient

© 2015 - 2022 James P. Tarquin, P.A. All rights reserved.
This Custom WebShop™ attorney website is designed
by NextClient.com.

Contact Form Tab Close Menu