U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Young Female Employee Subjected to Unwelcome Touching and Company Failed to Stop It, Federal Agency Charged
Cuero, TEXAS– Mount Vernon Mills, Inc. violated federal law when it subjected an 18 year-old female employee to a hostile work environment by, among other things, co-workers touching and propositioning her, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
The EEOC charges in its suit (Case No. 6:11-cv-52, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas at Victoria) charged that Mount Vernon Mills, Inc. allowed sexual harassment of a young female employee. The misconduct included unwelcome sexual touching of the teenager, as well as a pattern of crude statements, the EEOC charged. Other allegations included that the company had knowledge of the sexual harassment but failed to stop it.
“There is no excuse for allowing a young female employee to work in such a sexually hostile and abusive work environment,” said Judith G. Taylor, supervisory trial attorney of the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office. “The Commission takes seriously its mission to prevent this kind of offensive workplace conduct from continuing.”
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit against Mount Vernon Mills, Inc. after investigating the case, finding merit, and first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks compensatory damages and punitive damages for the victim, as well as injunctive relief.
“Employees have a legal right to work in an environment that is free of sexual harassment,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Patrick Connor of the agency’s San Antonio Field Office. “Upon notification of a complaint of sexual harassment, employers must take prompt action to correct the misconduct of its employees while protecting the workers subjected to the harassment.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.