Man’s Complaints of Sexual Harassment Were Ignored, Federal Agency Charged
DETROIT – LensCrafters, a major eyewear company, will pay $192,500 to settle a female-on-male sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that LensCrafters subjected a male employee to a sexually hostile work environment at its Saginaw, Mich., retail location.
According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 1:09-CV-12694, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan), LensCrafters violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting a male lab technician to sexual harassment and failing to address his complaints that a female co-worker was abusing him. The EEOC said the harassment included the female employee touching the male and making inappropriate comments about his appearance. In its suit, the EEOC charged that LensCrafters fostered the hostile climate by disregarding the male technician’s complaints because he was a man.
In addition to the monetary payment, the consent decree settling the suit requires LensCrafters to enhance its sexual harassment policies and train its employees on recognizing and preventing sexual harassment. The decree specifically requires LensCrafters to incorporate in its training examples of sexual harassment against male employees to emphasize that men can be subjected to this kind of misconduct as well as women.
“This is a favorable resolution for everyone,” said EEOC attorney Nedra Campbell. “Sexual harassment is always unjust and illegal, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator or the victim. LensCrafters’s willingness to resolve this case early in the litigation process is commendable.”
Mason, Ohio-headquartered LensCrafters is a wholly owned subsidiary of Luxottica U.S. Holdings and a part of Luxottica Group, an international designer, manufacturer, and distributor of eyewear.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.