Here is some good advice for managers on the lookout for sexual harassment: Don’t just keep the jocular guys on your radar. The sleazy and unwelcome conduct can come from anyone in the workplace, as Wells Fargo Bank recently learned.
According to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a female manager at a Wells Fargo branch in Reno, Nev., teamed up with a female teller and regularly subjected four other female tellers to graphic sexual comments, gestures and images.
The harassment included inappropriate touching and a suggestion that the bank tellers wear sexually provocative clothing to attract customers and to advance in the workplace.
The EEOC found that although the offensive conduct was reported toseveral times, Wells Fargo failed to act quickly to stop it, and one employee felt compelled to quit her job rather than endure the ongoing harassment.
Wells Fargo will now pay $290,000 to the four victims and furnish other relief to settle the lawsuit.
“I am happy I stood up for my rights,” one of the harassment victims said. “I don’t want any other woman to think she has to put up with sexual harassment simply because it is done by another woman.”