Know Your Obligations to Protect Your Employees
EEOC SUES KELLEY WILLIAMSON COMPANY FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Illinois Gas Station / Convenience Store Subjected a Female Employee to Unwanted Sexual Advances, Federal Agency Charges
This is a good reminder that employers have a responsibility to act to protect their employees from harassment not only by co-employees but from customers, clients and vendors. In addition, it reiterates the duty owed to employees to keep any medical records confidential and not share them with anyone in the organization who has np legitimate need to be privy to the information.
Besides being the right thing to do, this could be a costly mistake for any company, particularly small and mid-sized businesses that are less equipped to handle the financial blow. Often these incidents arise from ignorance rather than malice. Make sure your managers are trained on their responsibilities and the proper way to deal with these types of situations. If you need help with training, contact us at NavigationHR.
CHICAGO – Kelley Williamson Company, which owns and operates gas stations and convenience stores, violated federal law when it subjected a female employee at its Byron, Illinois gas station and convenience store to sexual harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today. The federal agency said that the company failed to stop harassment by a male customer. The federal agency further alleged that the company did not keep the employee’s medical information confidential.
The EEOC’s pre-suit investigation revealed that a male customer repeatedly subjected a female employee to unwanted sexual advances and other offensive conduct. The harassment was reported to Kelley Williamson officials repeatedly, both by the alleged victim and others, but the company failed to take prompt remedial action to stop the harassment.
The EEOC’s pre-suit investigation also found that the company did not keep the employee’s medical information confidential. The store manager unlawfully shared the employee’s private medical information with other employees who had no legitimate need to know it, the EEOC said.