Eight former employees of a Florida travel agency have received a $20 million settlement in connection with sexual harassment that occurred at the company’s Largo offices. The actual amount of the award will be substantially less than the federal jury’s recommendations, however, because of caps on federal lawsuits.
The plaintiffs, seven women and one man, were subjected to continued sexual harassment, including groping and inappropriate comments. Courtroom records show that supervisors attempted to convince women to have sex with them in the company’s bathrooms. They were also subjected to suggestive gestures and office meetings about overtly sexual topics. The man joined the lawsuit after he was fired for reporting the harassment.
Five of the former employees will receive a punitive damages maximum of $200,000 each, according to regulations from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Three others will not have their awards capped, which means they could recover higher amounts. All eight of the victims also received back pay in addition to the punitive damages.
The defendant, Four Amigos and Top Dog travel agencies, have offices in Largo, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. These agencies handle high-volume travel packages for Florida vacations, according to news reports. EEOC representatives say they are happy to help the victims recover losses in connection with the case because they suffered from unspeakably bad treatment at their former workplaces.
Victims of sexual harassment, workplace discrimination and whistleblower retaliation may be entitled to claims in federal and civil courts. These claims can help you recover damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering and lost income, among others. You do not have to suffer the emotional wounds of sexual harassment in silence. Contact a qualified employment attorney today to discuss your legal options. These employment attorneys can help you get your job back, or they can get you the money you deserve to be able to move on with your professional career.
Source: tampabay.com, “Jury rules against Largo company in sexual harassment case” Jodie Tillman, May. 01, 2013