Golf Center Manager Sexually Harassed Five Female Employees, Federal Agency Charged
OMAHA, Neb. -- GMT, LLC, doing business as Miracle Hill Golf and Tennis Center in Omaha has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC's lawsuit, filed on Sept. 28, 2011, charged that the center's general manager, Jerry Wilke, subjected female employees to physical touching and comments of a sexual nature, including pulling their clothes off to expose their breasts or buttocks, betting with a company owner about what kind of underwear they were wearing and making unwelcome sexual advances toward them. The women repeatedly complained to management about the harassment but it did not stop. Four women quit their jobs because of the harassment.
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. Five of the victimized women workers also employed their own private attorneys in the lawsuit.
The consent decree settling the suit was filed in U.S. District Court of Nebraska (Cause No. 8:11-CV-00336) and must be approved by the court. After the EEOC filed the lawsuit, Miracle Hill instituted a sexual harassment policy and provided sexual harassment training to its employees. The decree requires Miracle Hill to maintain the sexual harassment policy and continue training, file semi-annual reports with the EEOC about sexual harassment complaints, and to post a notice about discrimination in the workplace.
"We believe that this lawsuit and settlement has had, and will continue to have, a positive effect on the working environment for Miracle Hill's female employees," said Barbara A. Seely, Regional Attorney of the EEOC's St. Louis District Office. "We hope that Miracle Hill will conscientiously and aggressively work to prevent sexual harassment in its workplace in the future in accordance with the law. And we trust that Miracle Hill will be a different, more positive place for women to work in the future."
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.