Owner and President of Randy TV Show Subjected Two Women to a Sexually Hostile Work Environment, Federal Agency Charged
DALLAS – The companies that own and produce the Dallas-based “Cheaters” television show have paid $50,000 and will furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and two female claimants, the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit against Bobby Goldstein Productions, Inc., and Cheaters II, Ltd. (Civil Action No. 3:08-CV-1912-P), two female office assistants were subjected to sexually explicit remarks and unwelcome touching from the companies’ owner and upper management staff for the duration of their employment. The EEOC said that this behavior included frequent comments and jokes of a sexual nature, propositions for sex, and unwanted aggressive physical advances. The EEOC further charged that there was no effective outlet for complaints about the behavior because members of upper management were participants in the harassment, and there was no employee handbook or policy explaining the procedure for reporting inappropriate workplace conduct at the time of the complainants’ employment.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and retaliation for complaining about discrimination. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
“This is a good outcome for all parties, and it is our hope that these very real and substantive changes to the companies’ policy will make this a positive and comfortable environment for all employees, male and female,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Meaghan Shepard.
The two-year consent decree notes that the two claimants have received $50,000 in settlement of their claims against the companies. The decree requires the companies to supplement the employee handbook to include an alternate avenue for making complaints where an employee is uncomfortable reporting conduct through the internal process. The companies will also provide annual anti-sexual harassment training to all employees (including managers) for the duration of the agreement, post a notice of non-discrimination on employee bulletin boards, and notify the EEOC each time they receive a complaint of sexual harassment from one of their employees during the term of the agreement.
“Just because the creator of Cheaters promotes a TV show business which thrives on featuring sexual transgressions, it is no justification for engaging in sexual improprieties which violate the employment rights of his female employees behind the scenes,” said Regional Attorney Robert A. Canino of the EEOC’s Dallas District Office. “We considered this to be the prime time for a re-write of Cheaters’ employment practices to make them consistent with federal law.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.