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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
11-9-10

Ann Arbor Days Inn Franchisee to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Harassment Suit

Supervisor Attempted Rape of Spanish-Speaking Employee, Federal Agency Charged

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A local franchisee of Days Inn Hotel will pay $50,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC filed its suit against Ann Arbor Nights, a relatively small employer with several Spanish-speaking employees.

According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 2:10-CV-12197), which was filed on June 3 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Ann Arbor Nights subjected a female Spanish-speaking housekeeper at an Ann Arbor Days Inn to a sexually hostile work environment and retaliated against her for complaining about the harassment. The EEOC charged that the victim was sexually assaulted, including being subjected to an attempted rape by a supervisor, and retaliated against, such as being denied work, for failing to give in to the supervisor’s numerous sexual advances. The EEOC also said that the harasser used the fact that the victim spoke no English to his advantage in abusing her.

The EEOC sought monetary compensation in the form of compensatory and punitive damages, and an injunction enjoining Ann Arbor Nights from subjecting its employees to a sexually hostile work environment and retaliation.

Under the consent decree resolving the case, Ann Arbor Nights will pay the victim $50,000, which is the maximum amount allowed by statute for a small employer like Ann Arbor Nights. The company will also adopt and distribute anti-sexual harassment policies in both English and Spanish and conduct training in both English and Spanish to ensure that everyone in its work force, including its Spanish-speaking employees, knows how to recognize and report sexual harassment.

“The EEOC takes extreme forms of sexual harassment, like the attempted sexual assault in this case, extremely seriously,” said Nedra Campbell, the EEOC attorney assigned to handle the case. “We are pleased Ann Arbor Nights decided to resolve this case early in the process and without protracted litigation,” she added.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.