EEOC v. R.T.G. Furniture Corp.

No. 8:04-CV-2155-T24-TBM (M.D. Fla. May 16, 2006)

# The Miami District Office filed this Title VII case alleging that defendant, a retail furniture store chain, subjected two female charging parties at its Seffner, Florida Clearance Center to sexual harassment and one of them to racial harassment (race black). The store manager subjected both CPs to sexually offensive comments (e.g., calling them "whore" and "bitch") and unwanted touching. He requested sexual favors in exchange for approving sales that the CPs had negotiated. He also subjected the black CP to racially offensive remarks (calling her his "black bitch" and his "token" black salesperson), referred to blacks as "you people," disparaged CP for marrying a white man, and referred to racially mixed couples as "Oreos" or "Zebras." The store's assistant manager also made sexually and racially offensive comments to the black CP. Both CPs complained initially to the store manager and subsequently to the corporate Human Resources Director, but defendant took no corrective action. Under the 3-year consent decree resolving this case, the two CPs will share $275,000 in monetary relief. The decree enjoins defendant's Clearance Centers in Florida from creating a hostile work environment based on sex or race and from retaliating against employees who oppose or file charges regarding a hostile work environment based on sex or race. With respect to each store manager and regional manager who supervised the CPs at the Seffner Clearance Center, defendant will: (1) give him a copy of defendant's antiharassment policy within 30 days of execution of the decree; (2) require him to sign a written acknowledgment that he has received the policy, agrees to abide by it, and understands that any violation of the policy could result in discipline up to and including termination; and (3) place the written acknowledgment in his personnel file. Affirmative relief which applies to all of defendant's Florida Clearance Centers -includes: (1) distributing defendant's antiharassment policy to all employees; (2) conducting annual 4-hour training sessions for defendant's managers and supervisors on preventing sex and race discrimination; (3) posting a notice regarding resolution of the suit, the requirements of Title VII, and contact information for the EEOC; and (4) retaining a monitor who will report to the EEOC every 6 months regarding internal complaints of sexual or racial harassment filed by employees and actions taken in response.

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