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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
6-20-12

Pinetop Lakeside Sanitary District to Settle EEOC Charges of Discrimination

District to Compensate Female Victims of Alleged Discrimination, Implement Training Programs and Effective Anti-Discrimination Policies

PHOENIX -- Pinetop-Lakeside Sanitary District (PLSD) will furnish monetary and other relief to settle charges of sexual harassment and retaliation which were filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC had concluded in its investigation that employees Melissa Kenchiova and Susanne Royce were subjected to sexual harassment by former supervisor Alfonso Martinez, and retaliated against for complaining about it. Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

PLSD denied the allegations, any wrongdoing, retaliation, or any violation of applicable law, but agreed to resolve the matter with the EEOC through the agency’s conciliation process in order to avoid the significant cost of litigation. PLSD maintains that it is an equal opportunity employer that does not engage in discrimination or other unlawful conduct.

Under the agreement reached between the parties, PLSD will provide monetary and remedial relief. The remedial relief will include training for all employees and managers on equal employment opportunity compliance. PLSD also agreed to review, revise and distribute its anti-discrimination policies to its employees. The EEOC will monitor PLSD’s compliance with the agreement for the next three years.

“Employers have an affirmative duty to protect employees from discrimination, including sexual harassment and retaliation” said Rayford Irvin, District Director for the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office. “When an employer has notice of sexual harassment, it has a legal obligation to promptly and effectively remedy the situation. Actions which would likely deter an employee from making a complaint of discrimination in the future will be viewed as retaliation by EEOC and the courts.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.