MIAMI - Blackwater Protection & Detective Agency, LLC, violated federal law by subjecting a female employee to sexual harassment and retaliatory termination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed yesterday. Miami-based Blackwater provides security services such as security officers, bodyguard services, private investigations, and security monitoring systems.
The EEOC's suit charged that Blackwater owner and CEO Asdel Vazquez asked a female employee if she was gay and whom she found attractive at work, asked her to have a threesome with him, petted her hair while she worked, and repeatedly called her at home. The employee was fired the day after she told Vazquez that she would not meet him outside of work and that she wanted to keep things professional, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-23938-DPG) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
"It is far too common for company owners and upper-level management to use their position and power to subject subordinate employees to unwelcome sexual conduct -- and fire them if they object," said EEOC Regional Attorney Robert E. Weisberg. "When such harassment and retaliation occurs, the EEOC will vigorously seek to secure appropriate relief for the victims and to ensure that such conduct does not recur."
EEOC District Director Michael Farrell added, "This is precisely the type of behavior EEOC fights to prevent - people in positions of power harassing their employees and putting their livelihood in jeopardy when the targeted victims reject those advances."
The EEOC's Miami District Office is comprised of the Miami, Tampa and San Juan EEOC offices, and has jurisdiction over Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.