Posts Tagged ‘fondled’

Under Federal law and most state laws, sexual harassment is not permitted in the workplace and should not be tolerated.

University of Texas Longhorns football coach Mack Brown’s longtime associate athletics director for football operations was dismissed from the university last March because a university investigation determined he made repeated unwanted sexual advances toward a female administrative assistant over a two-year period

Cleve Bryant, who oversaw numerous daily activities for the Longhorns, including game-day-operations, team travel and recruiting weekends, was fired after a university investigator determined “that Mr. Bryant did sexually harass” the staffer and that “the harassment was likely both verbal and physical.”

The sexual harassment complaint was filed by Rachel Arena, a then 24-year-old football department employee who had graduated from Texas in 2008.

The investigation show that Arena told investigators:

• That during a July 2010 meeting in Bryant’s office about whether she would receive a raise, Bryant pulled down the top of her dress and bra and fondled her breast.

• That Bryant repeatedly either told her in person or texted her that “I want to kiss you.”

• That Bryant retaliated after she told him to stop texting by creating a false allegation that she had acted inappropriately at a minor league baseball game she attended with some former Texas football players.

• That one day while in the break room, getting a bottle of water, Bryant came in, stood in front of the door as she started to leave and said, “Kiss me.” Arena said she turned away and Bryant kissed her on the neck before she could leave.

• That two other female office workers alleged that Bryant had inappropriately kissed them in the past.

• That another woman in the athletic department referred to Bryant as “old-freak-nasty” and that he once told Arena “he wanted to touch me, that he wanted to pleasure me, that he could, that he could make me happy, referring to sexually, things like that.”

Bryant, who is married, denied all of the allegations.

If you have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace, feel free to call Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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More and more in the news today, there is frequent coverage of sexual harassment lawsuits. In most cases, these involve an employee and one of their employer’s employees. However, recent cases indicate that employers may also be responsible for sexual harassment of third parties and/or customers if they are aware of the harassment but fail to remedy or address it.

On September 27, 2010, the EEOC filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Beacon Hill Investments Corp., which does business as Synergy Home Care, on behalf of a group of female employees assigned to care for one of the employer’s home bound male clients. The female employees’ duties included sleeping at the client’s home overnight. The client allegedly fondled the female employees, made suggestive comments to them, and accosted them in their sleep. The employees allegedly complained to several managers and requested to be transferred. The employer is accused of ignoring their complaints and failing to take any remedial action. The female workers then quit, allegedly because of the employer’s inaction.

The EEOC claims that, by failing to take prompt remedial action in response to the female employees’ complaints, Synergy Home Care subjected them to a sexually hostile work environment and constructively discharged them. The EEOC seeks permanent injunctions against Synergy Home Care to prevent future discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and an order that Synergy Home Care institute policies and programs to provide equal employment opportunities for women which eradicate the effect of the alleged discrimination. The EEOC also seeks damages for the female employees, including: backpay; frontpay; out-of-pocket losses, such as job search expenses; pain and suffering; loss of enjoyment of life; and punitive damages.

Many employers and managers may not realize that, as the above-mentioned lawsuit urges, an employer may be “responsible for the acts of non-employees, with respect to sexual harassment of employees in the workplace.” 29 C.F.R. § 1604.11(e). For an employer to be liable for non-employee harassment, the employee must show that: (i) he or she was subjected to unlawful harassment on the basis of his or her sex; (ii) the harassment was unwelcome; (iii) the harassment was severe or pervasive enough to affect a term, condition, or privilege of his or her employment, and (iv) the employer knew or reasonably should have known about the harassment by the third-party and failed to take prompt remedial action.

So in the event you, as an employee, are sexually harassed by your employer or third parties such as their customers, and the employer has knowledge of what is taking place, you may want to file a complaint with the EEOC or contact and experienced employment lawyer to address these issues.

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