Claims of inappropriate workplace behavior are often brought forward by female workers; less often, male employees may formally complain of such behavior, but it is rare to have both female and male employees bring about a sexual harassment complaint together. VXI Global Solutions, with call centers in Texas and internationally, employs over 15,000 people. Recently, a sexual harassment claim was brought forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a federal court on behalf of male and female employees of the international call center company.
The lawsuit represents three men and six women who claim they were victimized. The women allege that they were subjected to unsolicited touching and groping as well as requests to have sex from their male supervisors. The women also had lewd comments made about their bodies. This behavior apparently went on as far back as five years. Some of the comments included jests about raping a co-worker and having a threesome with another.
The male employees faced similar treatment from their female supervisors. The men were also propositioned for sex and were touched inappropriately. One of the women allegedly tried to perform a lap dance on one of the workers. When the advances were rebuked, the workers were accused of being gay. Some of the workers complained about the harassment, and at least seven of them were disciplined or terminated.
Global denies all of the sexual harassment allegations, but ultimately, the company settled the sexual harassment claim for $600,000 in lieu of pursuing further litigation. Injunctive relief for the complaint includes the company retraining its employees about retaliation and sexual harassment. Company policies on the latter will also be revised to prevent complaints in the future, and the EEOC will monitor Global for the next four years. Workers in Texas and in other offices will be surveyed to see if they have encountered similar situations.
Source: mercurynews.com, "Call center company settles federal sex harassment suit", Brian Melley, Sept. 14, 2015