LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last week announced the settlement of two lawsuits against Landwin Management, Inc., which operates the San Gabriel Hilton Hotel, for $500,000 and significant remedial relief in cases alleging national origin discrimination and sexual harassment.
Both suits were filed in September 2007 under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In the first lawsuit (Case No. CV 07-06169 SJO), the EEOC charged that non- Chinese banquet servers were rejected for hire based on their national origin when the San Gabriel Hilton severed its contract and hired Landwin Management to operate the establishment in April 2005.
The EEOC said that all the non-Chinese banquet servers who previously worked for the hotel at the time, many of whom were Latino, were not hired back during the turnover and instead replaced with less qualified Chinese workers.
In the second suit (Case No. CV 07-05916 PA), the EEOC alleged that the San Gabriel Hilton subjected female employees to a sexually hostile work environment, including verbal sexual harass¬ment by the housekeeping department supervisor, who referred to the women as “whores” and “prostitutes” in addition to other offensive language.
The supervisor also allegedly reprimanded the female employees if they even spoke to men, and Landwin failed to respond to the employees’ complaints of harassment.
In addition to the $500,000 in monetary relief, a three-year consent decree settling the two lawsuits will also ensure that (1) Landwin will implement hiring and recruiting goals for Hispanic employees; (2) Landwin will revise its written policies on discrimination, sexual harassment and recruitment and hiring; (3) employees will receive annual training regarding discrimination, including national origin discrimination and sexual harassment; (4) Landwin will retain an EEO monitor / consultant named by the Commission to assist with recruiting, hiring, training, revision of policies and record-keeping procedures; and (5) the company will provide annual reports to the EEOC regarding its employment practices.
“The days when employers make decisions based on stereotypes and assumptions shaped by the race or national origin of their employees should be far behind us,” said Anna Y. Park, the regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office.
“Further, sexual harassment should no longer be tolerated in any workplace, and employers should never condone or overlook the mistreatment of vulnerable victims, such as monolingual Spanish- speaking women.”
EEOC Los Angeles District Director Olophius Perry added, “Employers must take appropriate corrective action when they receive harassment complaints. We hope that other employers take the lead of the San Gabriel Hilton and take proactive action to ensure EEO compliance.
Businesses should take advantage of EEOC trainings that are available to encourage compliance and proactive prevention.”
The EEOC Training Institute provides a wide variety of training to assist employers in educating their managers and employees on the laws enforced by EEOC and how to prevent and correct discrimination in the workplace.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.
Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.
(Souce: EEOC Press Release)