EEOC OBTAINS $290,000 FOR FEMALE WORKERS WHO WERE SEXUALLY HARASSED BY MALE NURSE

A Houston-area surgical center will pay $290,000 and provide significant remedial relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC had charged that First Street Surgical Center, L.P. and First Surgical Partners, LLC subjected several female workers at their Bellaire, Texas, facility to a sexually hostile work environment and that First Street retaliated against women who complained about the unlawful conduct.

The EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 4:08cv2894, filed in September 2008 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division) asserted that a male nurse, who eventually was promoted to a supervisory position, made unwanted sexual advances and sexual jokes and innuendos to female colleagues and subordinates. The EEOC said that women who rejected the advances or complained about harassment were then burdened with more difficult job assignments and had their work performance unfairly disparaged. A nurse who made a written complaint detailing acts of alleged sexual harassment by the supervisor was fired the following day. Another woman was given a poor evaluation because she complained about harassment.

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