Federal Agency Charged Female Telemarketers Subjected to Sexually Hostile Environment at Largo Workplace
TAMPA – Four Amigos Travel, Inc. and Top Dog Travel, Inc., related Florida-based travel telemarketing firms, violated federal law when they allowed five female employees at their Largo, Fla., location to be sexually harassed by supervisors, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC’s class suit, several of the firms’ male supervisors, including the general manager, conducted daily sales meetings which were sexually charged and raised sexually explicit discussions and propositioned female employees for sex. The harassers also inappropriately touched themselves and the female employees, made other aggressive sexual advances towards them and used derogatory terms such as “b-----s.” One male supervisor is alleged to have presented a female employee with a picture of his private parts and asked, “Impressive, aren’t I?”
The EEOC says that the women were offended and intimidated by the harassment and were mocked for objecting and complaining. The corporations failed to take appropriate action or properly remedy the situation, and two of the women were so repulsed by the sexually charged environment that they were forced to resign, according to the EEOC.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 8:11-CV-1163-T-26MAP) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, after attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
Four Amigos Travel and Top Dog Travel are high-volume telemarketers of vacation packages which have employed more than 200 employees at their three Florida locations.
“All employees have the right to work in an environment free of harassment,” said Robert Weisberg, the EEOC’s Miami regional attorney. “The EEOC continues, with this class lawsuit, to seek vigorous enforcement of the laws that protect all women from this kind of egregious discrimination.”
The EEOC’s Miami district director, Malcolm Medley, added, “Every employer needs to take action to remedy sexual harassment, which is a serious situation requiring serious attention. The EEOC will continue to aggressively pursue employers who tolerate and/or dismiss verbal and physical forms of sexual harassment in the workplace.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. The Miami District Office’s jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.