The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

PRESS RELEASE
9-16-09

SOUTH CAROLINA TIME SHARE RESORT SUED BY EEOC FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF MALE EMPLOYEE BY FEMALE BOSS

Festiva Resorts Took No Action to Stop Female Supervisor’s Sexual Comments and Physical Harassment of Male Salesperson, Federal Agency Charges

ATLANTA – In a sexual harassment lawsuit filed today in the U.S. District Court of South Carolina (No. 2:09-cv-02420), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged that Festiva Resort Services, Inc., which boasts a wide array of resorts throughout the United States and Caribbean, took no action to stop a female supervisor from sexually harassing a male subordinate at its Murrells Inlet, S.C., resort location. The EEOC charged that a female supervisor subjected a male salesperson to an escalating pattern of verbal and physical sexual harassment over a 14-month period.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit against Festiva Resorts, the male salesperson was subjected to a pattern of humiliating and degrading sexual comments by the female supervisor. The conduct also consisted of physical harassment of a sexual nature. This offending conduct occurred in front of other salespeople and managers and the victim was noticeably uncomfortable and embarrassed as a result of supervisor’s lewd behavior and comments.

The victim was eventually moved to another department within the resort and the harassment slowed until Festiva Resorts transferred the female supervisor to the same department two months later, the EEOC said. The harassment resumed at the new location and the victim again complained to the employer about the offensive conduct. The discrimination continued until the victim quit. The EEOC charged that the employer failed to take prompt remedial action designed to stop the harassment, as required by federal law.

Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The federal agency seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the harmed employee, as well as injunctive relief designed to prevent such discrimination in the future.

Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the Atlanta District Office, said, “This is an example of severe and pervasive acts of sexual harassment which no employee should be allowed to endure. The EEOC is committed to taking action to eliminate this type of harassment 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.


This page was last modified on September 16, 2009.

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