Sexual harassment in the workplace is never okay and should not be tolerated. Unfortunately, many men and women won’t report harassment for fear of losing their job. The same holds true for young women, many who join the workforce as a summer job or to save up for college. According to one study cited in a PBS show called “Is Your Daughter Safe at Work,” over 200,000 girls are assaulted in their workplace each year. Even more frightening is that a study conducted in 2005 showed almost half of the teenage girls surveyed had endured sexual harassment at their jobs.
Luckily, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission helps fight for employees rights against discrimination and harassment. Just a few months ago, the EEOC helped sue a franchise of Dunkin’ Donuts in New York for the sexual harassment of its employees. The EEOC stepped in because the manager of the Wynantskill, NY Dunkin Donuts had multiple counts of sexual harassment, some against employees of only 16 and 17 years old. Not only was his behavior, comments and unwanted touching an issue, but he had allegedly been complained about by two different employees over a year before the case. The manager was only fired after his conduct was reported to the police and the man was arrested.
The company, College View Donuts, LLC (doing business as Dunkin’ Donuts) will pay $290,000 to settle to the former employees to settle the case. The company will also be bound by a six-year consent decree, which requires the appointment of an EEOC coordinator and sexual harassment prevention training for all employees and managers. In addition, the company will issue a letter of apology to the woman, it will post a notice to employees about the resolution of the case and they can never re-hire the accused manager. The company will also need to revise its anti-discrimination policies and complaints procedures.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Trial Attorney Adela Santos had much to say about the case. She stated “sexual harassment is never acceptable, but it is especially troubling when the victims are teenagers.” The EEOC has since rolled out a “Youth@Work” initiative to try to educate young employees of their rights at work. Vice Chair of the EEOC, Naomi Earp said “our goal is to empower these young workers as they enter and navigate the professional world so that they are confident in their rights and responsibilities at work.”
If you feel like your teen may be facing unfair or unsafe work conditions, please contact an experienced San Antonio employment law attorney to learn more about their rights.
About the Author: Jeff Davis is the Owner of the Davis law firm and a highly experienced San Antonio employment law attorney. To find out more information about a San Antonio employment lawyer, please visit www.jeffdavislawfirm.com.