Employers in Colorado and across the United States are held to the highest standards to ensure that the rights of their employees are protected in the workplace. When accusations of discrimination, retaliation or sexual harassment arise, a company is required under state and federal laws to properly address the issue.
If the issue is not addressed in a timely manner or if complaints are ignored, an employer will most likely suffer serious legal consequences. Employees understand that they have rights in the workplace and they often seek guidance from an attorney in order to ensure that those rights are protected.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that the agency is suing The Original HoneyBaked Ham Co. of Georgia Inc. for retaliating against employees who filed sexual harassment complaints in Colorado.
According to the lawsuit, a manager at the Highlands Ranch store and several other women reported that their regional manager had sexually harassed them. The harassment included: sexual comments, innuendos and groping. The women said that despite making it clear to the regional manager that the behavior was unwanted, the man continued to harass them.
Instead of addressing the concerns of the Highlands Ranch manager and the other female employees, the women said that the company disciplined or discharged some of them.
In response to the lawsuit, HoneyBaked Ham claims that the company immediately investigated and reviewed the complaints of the women from the Colorado stores. The company issued a statement this week claiming that no act of sexual harassment is tolerated at its stores.
In addition to seeking back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for the female employees involved, the lawsuit filed by the EEOC is also requiring HoneyBaked Ham to participate in training to better identify and handle sexual harassment complaints in the future.
Source: ABC 7News, “EEOC Sues HoneyBaked Ham For Sexual Harassment,” Deb Stanley, Oct. 3, 2011