FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Katrina Archer said her former supervisor at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort propositioned her for sex regularly.
Archer said he also exposed himself, grabbed her breasts, tried to pull her onto his lap, made comments about women's bodies and also touched other employees. When Archer went to his supervisor to complain, she said the sexual harassment worsened.
After she threatened to go to the second-level supervisor and to his wife, she was fired. On Wednesday, Vacation Resorts International, the company managing the resort, settled a lawsuit that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed on her behalf.
"This settlement should send a clear message to the hospitality industry: The law will not tolerate subjecting female workers to sexual harassment," said Robert Weisbert, Miami's EEOC attorney. "It is not enough to have an anti-discrimination policy; employers must work hard to ensure that such policies are enforced."
VRI agreed to pay $125,000 to Archer in damages. VRI also agreed to provide sexual harassment and retaliation training to all of its employees at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort and will provide one-on-one trainings for both the accused harasser and his supervisor.
Daniel Seltzer, the lead EEOC trial attorney in the case, said Archer was both courageous and resilient in the process. The settlement, he said, "helps prevent her former coworkers from being subjected to the same illegal treatment."
EEOC filed the lawsuit Sept. 30 complaining that sexual harassment and the retaliation that followed for complaining about it violated Archer's civil rights. EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination.
In another EEOC sex harassment suit, a Florida federal judge ordered Moreno Farms in Miami-Dade to pay five migrant women who used to work in their warehouse as vegetable packagers $17.4 million. The women alleged their supervisors, who were the sons of the owner, sexually harassed them and in at least two cases raped them.