SAN FRANCISCO — A Home Instead Senior Care franchisee has agreed to pay more than $300,000 to settle charges by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) of subjecting its caregiver employees to sexual harassment by a client.
According to the EEOC, which filed a suit against R. MacArthur Corp. (RMC) and its successor San Oak Caring Hands, LLC., an 80-year old client groped and made sexually and racially derogatory comments to aides handling his care in his home. The company did not take any action to resolve the harassment despite receiving complaints from the home care giver employees, the EEOC said. One caregiver who complained about the daily harassment by the client was denied being able to be reassigned, according to the EEOC.
"It's important that we send a clear message that harassment is not part of a caregiver's job description and that employers must do what they can to prevent and correct any abuses, even if the workplace happens to be in a client's home," EEOC senior trial attorney Linda Ordonio-Dixon said in a statement.
"According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health aides have been projected to be the fourth-fastest growing occupation in the nation," EEOC San Francisco District director William Tamayo added.
In addition to paying $340,000 in damages to five former employees subjected to the harassment, the company will also initiate anti-harassment training and policy, the EEOC said.