According to KHON2, a veterinary clinic in Hilo, Hawaii has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit involving claims of sexual and gender-biased harassment. East Hawaii Veterinary Center on the Big Island will pay $101,000 to settle quid pro quo sexual harassment claims. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit against the veterinary clinic, saying a co-owner regularly subjected female employees, ranging from receptionists to veterinarians, to sexually harassing conduct.
On a near-daily basis, the co-owner insulted female employees by making unwanted sexual remarks and disparaging comments about women, said the complaint.
The EEOC charged that the veterinary clinic failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent and correct sexual harassment in the workplace. The commission also said that the co-owned fired at least three employees in retaliation and forced other to quit, creating a hostile work environment.
As a part of the settlement, the veterinary clinic will revise its existing policies on sexual harassment and complaint procedures to address such behavior, as well as discrimination and retaliation. The business also agreed to hire an equal employment opportunity consultant to train the staff on how to address discrimination. The EEOC will continue to monitor compliance and review handling of internal quid pro quo sexual harassment complaints. Ask an employment attorney questions if you have been a victim of sexual harassment or discrimination at work.