VXI Global to Pay Up for Sexually Harassing Latino, African American Employees

Call center services provider VXI Global Solutions will pay $600,000 in compensation to female and male staff who were subjected to harassment in what has been described as "an extremely hostile work environment."

Call center services provider VXI Global Solutions has agreed to pay $600,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency has announced. It has now been clear that among the victims were a few Latino employees at the firm.

The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed around this time last year, accusing a few supervisors at the contact center of showing pornographic images and groping some of their subordinates.

It was alleged that several female and male staff at the Los Angeles-based company endured an extremely hostile work environment perpetuated by a male floor manager and other supervisors since about 2009. Females were subjected to unsolicited groping and touching, constant sexual propositions, and grotesque comments of a sexual nature.

EEOC also contended that male employees were subjected to repeated sexual advances with foul descriptions of proposed sexual activity, unwanted lap dances and physical rubbing by female supervisors. Male employees who refused to participate were targets of unlawful gender stereotyping when they were accused of being gay because of their objection to the harasser’s behavior.

Several employees who dared complain to the authorities were reportedly fired in retaliation.

In addition to paying $600,000 to the nine employees, the call center firm has also agreed to hire a consultant to provide training for employees and management and to make sure the company complies with federal laws on discrimination.

“They also agreed to maintain a centralized system to track internal sexual harassment and retaliation complaints; conduct surveys at company sites in Los Angeles, Texas and Ohio; and to post a notice on the matter at the Los Angeles site,” stated the agency in a press release, adding that it will monitor compliance with the four-year consent decree.

Under federal law, it is also illegal to retaliate against employees who exercise their right to report harassment or discrimination.

Rosa Viramontes, district director for EEOC’s Los Angeles District, added, “Sexual harassment continues to be a persistent problem in the workplace and a priority for EEOC. Workers should not have to endure a hostile work environment because of their sex which, if unchecked, is a violation of federal law.”

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