Female Police Sergeant Alleged That She Was Retaliated Against After Reporting Sexual Harassment, Federal Agency Charges
HONOLULU - The Kauai Police Department in Hawaii will pay $100,000 and furnish other relief to settle charges of unlawful retaliation filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
A female police sergeant filed EEOC discrimination charges alleging that she was sexually harassed and retaliated against for reporting the harassment, becoming the target of several internal affairs investigations since 2011. The EEOC investigated the allegations and ultimately found reasonable cause to believe that the police department retaliated against the female sergeant for reporting the harassment, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The sergeant's sexual harassment allegations were not filed within EEOC's statutory time limit--within 300 days from the last discriminatory act-so EEOC lacked jurisdiction to investigate those claims.
Without admitting liability, the Kauai Police Department entered into a conciliation agreement with EEOC avoiding litigation. Aside from the monetary relief, the department agreed to clear the sergeant's record of all references to the EEOC charges and internal affairs investigations. The department also will: establish or revise its policies against discrimination, harassment and retaliation; hire an outside equal employment opportunity consultant to conduct training on anti-discrimination laws to the department's management and non-management employees on an annual basis; post a notice to employees and permit the dissemination of a public press release on the matter. The EEOC will monitor compliance with the agreement, which is to remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2018.
"Retaliation against employees who report discrimination or harassment on the job is against the law," said Glory Gervacio Saure, director of the EEOC's Honolulu Local Office. "I commend the Kauai Police Department for working with the EEOC to implement measures intended to protect workers from discrimination, harassment and retaliation going forward."
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 website at www.eeoc.gov.