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EEOC Resolves Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Eight Female Employees

Employee being victim of harassment and colleague watching

In a press release issued on November 22, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has entered into a Consent Decree to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against Credle Enterprises, LLC (Credle).  In 2018, the EEOC filed the case, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Credle Enterprises, LLC, d/b/a McDonald’s, Case No. 5:18-cv-00238, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas after initially attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its statutorily mandated conciliation process.

The EEOC brought the sexual harassment lawsuit pursuant to VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) on behalf of eight female employees of Credle.  Title VII prohibits sexual harassment that creates a hostile work environment.  This happens when the workplace is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment.  As explained by the U.S. Supreme Court in Meritor Sav. Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986), 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.”  In this article, our Ocala, Florida sexual harassment lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations against Credle and the Consent Decree.

EEOC Claims Sexual Hostile Environment

Credle owns and operates three McDonald’s franchises in Texas.  The eight female employees worked at Credle’s McDonald’s restaurant in Muleshoe, Texas.  The EEOC alleges that the female employees were sexually harassed by two male employees, including the General Manager.  The EEOC claims that the sexual harassment included physical touching, sexual comments, and display of pornographic images.  The EEOC contends that Credle received complaints from the female employees about the sexual harassment, but failed to take prompt and effective remedial action to prevent the harassment from continuing.  The EEOC claims that Credle violated Title VII by allowing the two male employees to subject the female employees to a sexual hostile work environment. 

Consent Decree Settling Harassment Case

In the Consent Decree settling the lawsuit, which was signed by U.S. District Court Judge Wes Hendrix on November 21, 2019, Credle agreed to pay $340,000 to resolve the sexual harassment case.  In the Consent Decree, the EEOC required Credle to provide mandatory training on sexual harassment to all current employees.  The EEOC further required Credle to represent in the Consent Decree that the General Manager was no longer employed by Credle and would not be employed by Credle in the future.

EEOC Protects Sexual Harassment Victims

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including sexual harassment.  In enforcing the federal civil rights laws, the EEOC is also authorized by federal law to bring lawsuits on behalf of sexual harassment victims.  In a press release issued by the EEOC on November 22, 2019 regarding the case, a trial attorney for the EEOC, Meaghan Kuelbs, stated that “[t]his represents the best of all outcomes for the parties involved.”  “Not only have the women who were subjected to the harassment been compensated for the harm they suffered,” Ms. Kuelbs added, “but the employer has committed itself to changing its workplace in a meaningful way so that current and future employees feel that they will be protected from this kind of inappropriate behavior.”

Free Consultation Ocala Sexual Harassment Attorneys

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Ocala, Florida sexual harassment lawyers have almost two decades of experience helping sexual harassment victims.  If you have endured sexual harassment in the workplace or have questions about your protection against sexual harassment, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida sexual harassment attorneys. Our employee rights law firm takes employment 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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