(Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
announced Feb. 7 that Northwest Territorial Mint, a precious metals dealer in
Federal Way, Wash., will pay $725,000 to resolve allegations of sexual
EEOC allegations, Ross Hansen – the owner of the company – sexually harassed
female employees to the point they felt they needed to quit. Hansen
purportedly made lewd comments to and about female employees. The EEOC sued on
behalf of five former employees despite the company filing for bankruptcy.
EEOC will not be deterred from prosecuting sexual harassment cases just because
a company files for bankruptcy,” said EEOC supervisory trial attorney John
Stanley. “If the company is reorganizing, it is in everyone's best interest
that awareness and prevention of harassment gets front-loaded into the
to monetary penalties, Northwest Territorial Mint will implement stronger
sexual harassment policies and practices.
harassment laws apply to everyone in the workplace, especially the head of the
company, who has a duty to keep all employees safe,” said EEOC Seattle field director Nancy Sienko. “When harassers take advantage of their authority to
abuse their victims and keep them silent, the EEOC must fight for workers'
rights to a workplace free from discrimination and harassment."