BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said that the Braun Electric Company violated federal law when it allowed unwanted sexual harassment to continue.
In a press release, the EEOC said Braun Electric Company allowed the unwelcome sexual harassment and discrimination of a class of female employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in a lawsuit it filed Thursday. The Bakersfield-based company provides electrical services for the oil and gas industry throughout California's San Joaquin Valley.
According to the EEOC, a male manager at Braun's Taft and Belridge, locations continually subjected female staff to a hostile work environment infused with explicit sexual comments, advances and gestures since 2010. The manager allegedly made daily grotesque remarks about the sexual fantasies he had regarding his female subordinates, encouraging them to kiss and touch each other's breasts and asking to commit sexual acts with them. He would repeatedly make various explicit sexual remarks or propositions and make obscene displays, the EEOC said.
The EEOC further asserts that Braun management largely ignored reports of harassment and discrimination and failed to adequately prevent and correct the misconduct. Ultimately, at least one female employee was forced to quit as a result of the unchecked hostile work environment.
"Employers cannot stand by idly while workers are besieged by sexual misconduct," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, whose jurisdiction includes California's Central Valley. "Where employers fail to act, the EEOC will work to ensure the protection of workers in the face of harassment or discrimination on the job."
Melissa Barrios, director for the EEOC's Fresno's Local Office, added, "Workers who have the courage to report sexual harassment on the job deserve to be taken seriously. Managers and supervisors, as representatives of the employer, are required not only to prevent such harassment from surfacing, but also to stop the harassment quickly and effectively."
A spokesperson from Braun Electric said they have not seen a copy of the lawsuit and therefore cannot make a comment about the case.
But they went on the say that they have strict policies against sexual harassment and complaints are handled swiftly.