Employers must watch for same-sex harassment, too

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A Huntersville seafood restaurant will pay $86,000 to four male em­­ployees who were harassed on the job by another male worker. The men claimed the co-worker repeatedly touched their buttocks, groins and chests at the Captain’s Galley Seafood Restaurant.

Peter Economos, the employee who was the lead plaintiff in an EEOC lawsuit that included the other men, complained about the behavior, but restaurant management failed to investigate or take any action to rein in the harassing worker. Then, when Economos continued to complain, the restaurant fired him.

When mediation efforts failed, the EEOC sued in federal court. Faced with the prospect of a jury trial, the restaurant decided to settle.

Note: When any employee reports harassment, take it seriously—even if it doesn’t fit your preconceived notion of what harassment is.

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