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California lodge settles sexual harassment claim

California has strict laws against sexual harassment in the workplace, but unfortunately the treatment still occurs. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a female worker was sexually harassed and retaliated against at Tenaya Lodge, a hotel and resort located near Yosemite National Park in California.

In 2010, the female worker filed a complaint with the EEOC stating that a male supervisor had made sexual comments towards her and referenced a lewd image. The female worker said she reported the treatment and then the male supervisor retaliated against her by writing her up and treating her differently.

The EEOC said it conducted an investigation and determined that the female employee was the victim of sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC determined that other female employees may have also been sexually harassed at Tenaya Lodge as well.

Even though Tenaya Lodge refused to admit that the unlawful treatment had happened, it did agree to enter into a one-year conciliation agreement to avoid litigation. Tenaya Lodge agreed to pay $100,000 to the female who came forward to report the treatment. Additionally, Tenaya Lodge agreed to put $95,000 in a fund for other women who encountered sexual harassment and/or retaliation while working there.

Finally, Tenaya Lodge agreed to take non-monetary measures including providing equal employment opportunity training for all current employees and new hires, and additional training for management on sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. It also agreed to post the agreement for workers to see in case anyone else comes forward to report similar treatment.

The director of the EEOC's Fresno Local Office commended Tenaya Lodge for agreeing to work with the EEOC to solve the matter and implement measures to better protect its employees.

Source: EEOC Press Release, "Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment & Retaliation Case for $195,000," Nov. 7, 2012