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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
9-27-13

Tahoe Ski Resort Settles EEOC Suit for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

 Agency Obtains  $30,000 for Waitress Protesting Co-Worker Sexual Harassment

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - Destination  Tahoe Hotel, a nationwide hotel/condominium property management corporation which  operates The Resort at Squaw Creek near Lake Tahoe,  has agreed to pay $30,000 and implement  preventive measures to resolve a suit charging sexual harassment and  retaliation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced  today.

The EEOC's suit alleged the  company violated federal law when a male co-worker harassed a female food  server, conduct that included persistent requests to have a relationship and  unwelcome touching.  According to the EEOC,  the company did not take the employee's complaints seriously, allowed the  harassment to continue and retaliated against her by transferring her from her  banquet food server position to a part-time bartender position, reducing her  seniority, hours and earnings.

Title VII of Civil Rights Act  of 1964 requires employers to prevent and remedy sexual harassment and  prohibits retaliation against an employee for reporting harassment.  After an investigation and first attempting to  reach a pre-litigation settlement through conciliation, the EEOC filed the  lawsuit (EEOC v. Destination Resorts  & Hotels, Inc., Civ. No.12-CV-00278-LKK) in U.S. District Court for the  Northern District of California.

Under the consent decree  settling the lawsuit, Destination will pay the former employee $30,000 and  agreed to revise its handbook regarding discriminatory harassment, provide  annual training to all managers and supervisors and report any complaints of sexual  harassment or retaliation to the EEOC. 

 "When complaints are not  met with an immediate and thorough response, an employee can conclude that a  safe workplace is not a priority for management," said EEOC San Francisco  Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo.  "The  revised policies agreed to in this settlement are an important tool to help  ensure a workplace free from discrimination."  

EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado said,  "Effective training is critical to ensure that supervisors and managers  understand their responsibility to respond to complaints of harassment and to avoid  actions that can be construed as retaliation." 

Baldonado  said retaliation is the most frequently filed charge with the EEOC, which made up  more than 38% of all charges filed with the agency in fiscal year 2012. Eliminating  policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising  their rights under employment discrimination statutes, or that impede the  EEOC's investigative or enforcement efforts, is one of six national priorities  identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

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