EEOC: Washington state seafood company to pay $75,000 to resolve sexual harassment allegations

By Mark Iandolo | Dec 13, 2017

SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Nov. 30 that Trans Ocean Seafoods Inc., a company in northwestern Washington state doing business as New England Shellfish, will pay $75,000 to three female former employees after allegations of sexual harassment.

"Protecting vulnerable workers and addressing systemic harassment are both top priorities for the EEOC,” said Nancy Sienko, Seattle field director for the EEOC's San Francisco District. “We hope this case sends a clear message that the EEOC will hold accountable employers who fail to protect their employees from workplace harassment."

EEOC alleges a male employee at the seafood company made sexually explicit comments in front of numerous female workers, including a 17-year-old and her mother. According to the EEOC, the male employee was asked numerous times to stop the harassment but he never stopped. Conduct of this nature violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

"We have seen how hard it can be, even for women with education, celebrity and power, to speak out against sexual harassment," said EEOC senior trial attorney Carmen Flores. "Imagine how difficult it was for these women, two of whom do not read or write and can only speak Mixtec. No one should have to endure sexual harassment just to feed and shelter themselves and their families."

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