WASHINGTON, Pa. (Legal
Newsline) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced
Nov. 10 that Labor Ready Northeast Inc. (Labor Ready) will pay $72,500 to settle
allegations of race and sexual harassment.
According to EEOC, Labor Ready
dispatched two female employees to a single-day work assignment in Metz, West
Virginia. The employees would spend the shift at Panhandle Cleaning and
Restoration. While at the customer’s place of business, the two women were allegedly
harassed by male employees. The harassment included racial
epithets and overtly sexual statements, EEOC claimed.
"This settlement should
remind employers that they have an obligation to take prompt and effective
measures to stop harassment in the workplace,” said district director Spencer
H. Lewis Jr. of EEOC's Philadelphia District Office. “If the employer instead
does the wrong thing and terminates employees who complain about harassment or
discrimination, then EEOC will take action.”
In addition to monetary
penalties, Labor Ready will need to put training mechanisms in place for
certain personnel concerning harassment complaints.
are among the most vulnerable workers in our economy, and the
staffing industry must recognize that it has a clear,
non-delegable duty under Title VII to protect workers placed at customer
worksites from harassment and other forms of discrimination,” EEOC Philadelphia
regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence said.