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Sexual Harassment Lands Nevada Employer in Hot Water

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Las Vegas, NVIn deference to the popular adage 'what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,' Nevada employment and labor violations against employees who work in the service industry in Nevada can come back to haunt an employer.

A lawsuit filed by a disgruntled worker under the auspices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has resulted in a settlement totaling $155,000.

The lawsuit was filed in 2011 in US District Court in Nevada and listed Hotspur Resorts Nevada Ltd., reported as a franchisee doing business as the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort Spa Golf, (The Company) as the defendant.

The alleged Nevada employment violation was in relation to the Irish pub located at the resort. Known as JC Wooloughan's, the pub is said to have been the source for incidents of sexual harassment against three female employees working at the pub. The EEOC lawsuit alleged the workers were subjected to aggressive physical and verbal sexual harassment on the part of a male co-worker who later became their supervisor, according to the lawsuit.

The harassment was alleged to have begun in 2003 and continued until 2007, when the alleged harasser was discharged by the resort. In it's Nevada employment lawsuit, the EEOC asserted that Hotspur Resorts Nevada Ltd. failed to sufficiently prevent and correct the harassment, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964).

"To effectively deal with sexual harassment on the job, employers must enforce strong anti-harassment policies and train staff so they are able to identify and immediately correct the offending conduct," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, which has litigation authority over Nevada.

In addition to the financial penalty, the defendant entered into a three-year consent decree. According to The National Law Review (11/18/12), The Company agreed to revise its anti-harassment policy and complaint procedure to better address sexual harassment issues, deliver extensive annual training on the policy and procedures to all managers, and provide additional anti-harassment training to human resources staff. The Company also agreed to designate an equal employment opportunity monitor to assist The Company in its implementation of the decree's terms.

"No worker should have to endure unwanted touching or verbal harassment while on the job," said Olophius Perry, district director for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, which includes southern Nevada in its jurisdiction. "Where employers fail to adequately remedy illegal harassment or discrimination, the EEOC is here to help."

Various laws and statutes exist to protect workers from such things has harassment on the job. When those Nevada employment guidelines aren't enough to prevent such harassment, the services of a Nevada employment lawyer is often secured, with an eye to litigation. The case is EEOC v. Hotspur Resorts Nevada, Ltd. d/b/a JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort, Spa Golf, Hotspur Resorts Nevada, Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-02265.


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