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PRESS RELEASE
9-26-11

EEOC Sues McAllen Dry Cleaners for Sexual Harassment

General Manager of Oasis Dry Cleaners Routinely Asked Female Employee for Sexual Favors, Federal Agency Says

McALLEN, Texas -- A McAllen, Texas dry cleaning and laundry service violated federal law by subjecting an employee to sexual harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

The EEOC said that a female employee at Oasis Dry Cleaners routinely experienced sexual harassment from its general manager when he solicited sexual favors and often approached her speaking in a suggestive manner and placing his hands on her body.

Such alleged conduct constitutes a sexually hostile work environment, which is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action Number 7:11-cv-209) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, McAllen Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the victim as well as other relief. 

“Employers have an absolute duty to protect their employees from becoming a victim of sexual harassment by those who are placed into a position of authority, and employers should adopt effective measures to prevent this type of misconduct from occurring,” said EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney Judith G. Taylor. “Employers must take steps to stop such abuses once they are reported.”

EEOC Senior Trial Attorney David Rivela added, “The EEOC takes allegations of sexual harassment very seriously. Understandably, when victims are being harassed by their bosses, they often feel they have nowhere to go for help. The EEOC is here for those situations.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the agency is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.