Telemarketing Companies’ HR Managers Forced Women to Endure Offensive Sexual Comments, Federal Agency Charged
DALLAS – A group of related Dallas telemarketing companies will pay $37,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that two managers at Paramount Multiservices sexually harassed two female employees and forced one of them to quit.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 3-08CV1349-N in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas), Paramount Multiservices' human resources manager and his assistant manager commented to female employees about their breasts and asked them questions about their sex lives. The women said that these comments were offensive and unwelcome, the EEOC said, but it continued.
Sexual harassment, as a form of sex discrimination, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit against Paramount Multiservices, L.L.C., Paramount Teleservices, L.L.C. and Paramount Multiservices, Inc. after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.
The consent decree settling the suit was signed by U.S. District Court Judge David C. Godbey on December 9, 2009. In the decree, besides the monetary settlement, the companies agreed to train all employees on equal employment opportunity policies and procedures, including sexual harassment, retaliation and gender discrimination. The companies will also post anti-discrimination notice and enforce a written policy against gender discrimination.
“A continuously hostile environment that is permeated with sexual comments makes it very difficult for any woman to want to go to work every day,” said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney William C. Backhaus.
Robert Canino, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Dallas Office, added, “One does not expect this level of disrespect for women at the workplace from, of all people, human resources managers. An offensive case like this is a sad example of how a sexually predatory manager can use his or her unique position to sexually harass employees, and thus box them into a situation in which they feel they have no recourse.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.