Agreement Resolves Claims of Sexual Harassment and Retaliation
LOS ANGELES - Sierra Creative Systems, Inc., doing business as Addressers, a Paramount, Calif.-based printing, mailing and fulfillment company, has agreed to pay $690,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
The EEOC's lawsuit charged Sierra Creative with subjecting female employees to sexual harassment and retaliation at its North Hollywood facility. The alleged harassment included unwelcome touching, sexual comments and derogatory statements about women. The EEOC further asserted that Sierra Creative failed to adequately respond to complaints of discrimination made against one of its supervisors. In addition, the EEOC alleged that those who complained were denied hours and subjected to retaliatory harassment.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (EEOC v. Sierra Creative Systems, Inc., et al.; Case No. 2:18-cv-05185-PSG-AFM) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to monetary relief, the company agreed to injunctive relief intended to prevent further workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Sierra Creative Systems agreed to: retain an external EEO consultant to monitor compliance with Title VII and the consent decree; review and revise policies and procedures; ensure all employees are trained regarding their rights and responsibilities under Title VII; and conduct annual unannounced audits to ensure managers are held accountable and to encourage employees to report complaints of discrimination. Additionally, the company agreed to develop a hotline and a centralized tracking system for discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaints. The consent decree will remain under the court's jurisdiction for the decree's three-year term.
"Sexual harassment remains a persistent problem and we encourage employers to take proactive steps to ensure a workplace free of harassment," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District. "We commend Sierra Creative Systems' commitment to the Civil Rights Act and the steps it has taken to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace."
Rosa Viramontes, district director of the EEOC's Los Angeles District, added, "Retaliation can chill a workforce from coming forward and reporting illegal behavior. We commend Sierra Creative Systems for taking the allegations seriously and for resolving this complaint to the benefit of the entire workplace."
Preventing workplace harassment through systemic litigation and investigation is one of the six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Read about the Sierra Creative Systems sexual harassment lawsuit on the EEOC website. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.