Tenaya's sexual harassment case settled

Federal agency says male supervisor sexually harassed female staff members

-- EEOCNovember 16, 2012 

Fish Camp's Tenaya Lodge will pay $195,000 and furnish other relief to settle a federal charge of sexual harassment and retaliation filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

In a prepared statement released Nov. 7, the federal agency said that in 2010, a Tenaya female employee filed the charge of discrimination alleging that a male supervisor made sexual comments and referenced an image of a sexual nature. The female employee further alleged that upon reporting the sexual harassment, the male supervisor retaliated against her by issuing written discipline and treating her differently.

Following an EEOC investigation, the director of EEOC's Fresno office determined that there was reasonable cause to believe that the female employee was sexually harassed due to her gender (female) and that she was subjected to retaliation for reporting the harassment, a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The commission also found reasonable cause to believe additional female employees were also sexually harassed due to gender. Tenaya Lodge denied the allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation, and the company did not admit to liability while agreeing to settle the matter.

A spokesperson for EEOC said the harassment was not physical but was of a verbal and pictorial nature (a sexual image).

Following the commission's determination, the EEOC entered into a one-year conciliation agreement with Tenaya Lodge and the female employee in question.

The agreement effectively settles the case administratively, thereby avoiding litigation. The agreement provides for $100,000 in monetary relief for the female employee who filed the charge. An additional $95,000 is designated as a fund for multiple female claimants who also encountered sexual harassment and/or retaliation while working at Tenaya Lodge.

Aside from the monetary relief, Tenaya Lodge will provide equal employment opportunity training for all current employees and, for all new hires in English and Spanish, along with additional training for managerial and human resources staff on how to deal with discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

Tenaya Lodge also agreed to post a notice about the settlement, to report future instances of discrimination to the EEOC and to publicize the recent settlement.

"Workers have the right to report sexual harassment or other forms discrimination on the job without negative repercussions," said Melissa Barrios, director of the EEOC's Fresno office. "We commend Tenaya Lodge for working with the commission to resolve this matter and for agreeing to implement measures to protect their employees from harassment, discrimination and retaliation."

Tenaya is owned and operated by Delaware North Company & Resorts, the company that operates Yosemite hotels and restaurants and other guest service operations in other parts of the country.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at eeoc.gov.

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