Frank A. Mora to Pay $43,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

McALLEN, Texas – Frank A. Mora, individually, and as the authorized corporate officer of Two Lac, Inc. d/b/a Oasis One Dry Cleaners, a McAllen, Texas dry cleaning and laundry service, will pay $43,000 and provide significant remedial relief to a former female employee who was subjected to a sexually hostile work environment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

The EEOC’s suit (Civil Action Number 7:11-cv-209) filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, McAllen Division, charged that a female employee at Oasis Dry Cleaners routinely experienced sexual harassment from its general manager who solicited sexual favors and often approached her speaking in a suggestive manner and placing his hands on her body.

Such alleged behavior violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual harassment. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to settle the case through its conciliation process.

In addition to providing $43,000 in monetary damages to the former employee, the two-year Consent Decree resolving the case enjoins Frank A. Mora, individually, and as the authorized corporate officer of Two Lac, Inc. d/b/a Oasis One Dry Cleaners from discriminating against employees based on sex and requires the following:

Adoption, implementation and distribution of a bilingual Spanish/English sexual harassment and retaliation policy;
Two hours of bilingual Spanish/English training to all employees, officials, managers and supervisors working at the dry cleaning facility located at 120 E. Nolana, McAllen, Texas; and
Posting notices in Spanish and English of the intent to comply with Title VII.

“Employees have a legal right to go to work every day without the anxiety of being subjected to harassment related to their gender,” said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney David Rivela of the agency’s San Antonio Field Office. “We are pleased that Mr. Mora is taking the steps necessary to provide a discrimination-free environment for his personnel.”

Janet Elizondo, Acting District Director for the Dallas District Office which oversees San Antonio, said, “I think this case is a great example of how the Commission remains diligent in its enforcement efforts to root out sexual harassment in the workplace.”

Judith G. Taylor, Supervisory Trial Attorney of the San Antonio Field Office, added, “Here, the employer’s hiring a family member to manage day-to-day operations appears to have resulted in the failure to acknowledge or address an employee’s complaint that the family member was engaging in sexually harassing conduct. Businesses should exercise care to avoid discriminatory actions or inactions motivated by familiarity.”

In fiscal year 2011, 11,364 charges of sexual harassment were filed with the EEOC and state or local agencies nationwide.