American Medical Response of Tennessee, Inc., to Pay $40,000 to Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

Medical Transportation Company Refused to Provide a Sabbath Accommodation to a Jehovah’s Witness Employee, Then Fired Her, Federal Agency Charged   

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – American Medical Response of Tennessee, Inc. (AMR), a Naperville, Ill. based private provider of medical transportation services, will pay $40,000 and furnish injunctive relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed
by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC, a former AMR employee who was a Jehovah’s Witness requested Sundays off to worship. After initially accommodating the employee’s request, AMR later refused to continue accommodating the employee and then fired the
employee.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 2:17-cv-02725 in the
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.

Besides the monetary relief, AMR entered into a two-year consent decree requiring the company to develop and implement a religious accommodation policy and train its employees, including human resources and management personnel on the religious
accommodation requirements under Title VII. AMR also agreed to report complaints of religious discrimination/harassment and denials of requests for religious accommodation to the EEOC and permit the EEOC to monitor the company’s compliance with the
consent decree. AMR denied any liability or wrongdoing in the suit.

“Those empowered by employers to make decisions about an employee’s request for a religious accommodation should do so in an objective, informed, and educated way,” said Faye Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office. “It
is imperative employers know their responsibilities under Title VII.” 

Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director of the Memphis Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi, said, “The rich diversity of our nation extends to religious beliefs. Employers must be prepared to
address religious diversity in their organizations. Having a policy that addresses religious discrimination and accommodations is a good starting point.”

American Medical Response of Tennessee, Inc., operates as a subsidiary of American Medical Response, a medical transportation provider with more than 29,000 paramedics, EMTs, nurses, doctors and support staff who transport more than 4.8 million
patients nationwide each year.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news
by subscribing to our email updates.

Are You Sharing Too Much Online?

Author: PeopleFinders on July 30th, 2019

Spread the love

In the 21st century, people live their lives online. This can be a good thing; on the internet, you can connect with friends who live thousands of miles away, get minute-by-minute news updates, and find information about nearly any topic.

However, there’s a dark side to all that convenience. If you use it too frequently, you might forget how many people you’re sharing that information with. This can easily lead to security breaches that cost you a great deal. To ward off any security issues that you might run into from sharing too much online, revisit the information you post every so often.

To make sure you’re being safe online, the most important things to check include:

  • Your location
  • Demographic info
  • App connections
  • Old, long-forgotten info

Your Location

Sometimes, apps and websites need to know your location, whether precisely or generally. If you’re buying a physical item, you’re going to need to provide your home address or a P.O. Box. You’ll also need to share your location to use certain services; turn-by-turn instructions aren’t available on map apps unless you share your location. However, you don’t always have to share it.

Apple iOS specifically has a number of privacy settings that dictate who’s allowed to see your location and when. Revisiting those settings every so often is a good idea. On other operating systems, you can also see what apps are using your location, although it’s not always as in-depth. Check it out and see with whom you’re sharing your location.

Demographic Information

Your demographic information covers all the basics: age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status. Sometimes, it can also include information such as the amount of formal education you have and your hobbies. Think about a survey you’ve taken recently; if there were optional questions at the end about you personally, they were probably collecting demographic information.

Collecting demographic information isn’t always a bad thing. Scientific studies use demographics to make sure they’re taking a representative sample of subjects. And censuses use demographics to understand the people that live in different cities, states, and countries.

However, some advertisers can go overboard. Using your social media habits and internet browsing, some advertising agencies can pinpoint your information down to the type of diet you’re on. To make this targeting less specific, visit the settings on your favorite websites to choose who can see what information.

App Connections

Many people use social media sites to sign-in on other apps. It’s much easier to log onto your Facebook account than it is to create a new account with a fresh set of login information. However, what happens when you stop using that app? If you’re like most people, you forget about it.

Unfortunately, if you don’t revoke access to your information, these apps will continue to use it. Thankfully, removing that app’s access usually only takes a few clicks. It’s important to revisit those permissions every few months to remove anything you’re not using anymore.

Am I Still Safe Online?

When you know about the different ways apps and websites can share your information, you’re more likely to be careful about what you share. However, any information you’ve already shared is still out there. Think you may have information left around the internet that you need to clean up? Stop by PeopleFinders first to try and find out for sure.

You know you can use PeopleFinders to try and check out other people and make sure they’re safe. But what you may not have considered is using it to check on yourself. Perform a background check using your information, and then verify what turns up.

You may be able to get an extensive list of public records data about yourself and, hopefully, an idea of the sources where that information came from. With that info in hand, then you can take the necessary steps to clean it up for good.

Conclusion

Online privacy isn’t impossible, no matter how difficult it may seem at first glance. You just need to stay on top of your privacy settings, and make sure you keep an eye on what you’re sharing with the apps and companies you deal with most frequently. PeopleFinders can help you try to complete your internet privacy checks.

If you’ve never considered using PeopleFinders to look through your own information, you may be surprised to learn about other uses for the website. Read the PeopleFinders blog to learn about those uses.

Image attribution: oatawa – stock.adobe.com

Tags: , ,

Categorized in: Digital Identity

Where Does Burnout Come From?

​This excerpt is adapted from Extinguish Burnout (SHRM, 2019) by Rob & Terri Bogue. It is the first in a three-part series on the effect of burnout at work:

 Part 1: Where Does Burnout Come From?

Part 2: Calibrate Expectations to Prevent Burnout

Part 3: Manage Demands to Maintain Personal Agency

Burnout is classically seen in three factors: exhaustion, cynicism, and lack of personal effectiveness. Of these three components, which are candidates to cause burnout? In other words, which came first: the proverbial chicken or the egg?

Teasing out causality is notoriously hard in research circles. Indicating correlation—that two things tend to occur together—is statistically straightforward. Causation requires the introduction of time as an isolating variable, and, given the constraints of research grants, that can be challenging.

However, much like the proofs that we all hated in our geometry class, we can evaluate each of the criteria to evaluate whether it’s a reasonable candidate to cause the condition.

Exhaustion

“Overworked” and “overwhelmed” describe many American families today. It’s more difficult to find someone who doesn’t describe themselves as overworked and overwhelmed in their job, their personal life, or in general than it is to find someone who does. We’ve become obsessed with success, material objects, and the experiences we simply must provide for our kids to the point where we leave ourselves exhausted.

Strangely, however, many of the people who are the most overworked, overwhelmed, and physically exhausted can’t be said to be suffering from burnout. People who work the hardest on their jobs, for their communities, and with their families aren’t the ones that seem to be suffering. However, this does not mean that those who work hard cannot experience burnout.

Certainly, there are those examples of high-performing people who seem to hit a wall and burn out, but the incidence of this happening is incredibly low. We probably all know a few people who are burned out. However, this is a small number among the thousands of people that we know, from near-strangers to friends and family. If we apply this ratio to the people we know best, in whom we feel confident we would notice burnout, the rate of burnout is very low, particularly among those who are working hard. Hard work doesn’t seem to correlate with burnout in most people’s experiences.

If you think about it, in our own lives, the times we’ve worked the hardest are often those we find the most fulfilling. The times we’ve poured our heart and soul into that project to make it perfect or successful or amazing aren’t when we’ve felt the worst; in most cases, it’s when we have felt the best. It isn’t the work that drives our feelings—it’s the perception of results. So, while it is true that people who are burned out feel exhausted, it doesn’t seem to follow that, if you’re striving, challenging yourself, and pushing for more, you’ll necessarily feel like you’re all used up.

Cynicism and Low Personal Effectiveness

Look around. Of the people around you right now, or the people who you were last with, who are the cynics? Are the cynics the young people, whether they are the newest workers at the office, the Starbucks server, or your children? Are they older people who have battle scars from long-forgotten battles, both imagined and real?

Cynicism arrives when people are let down. It happens when expectations of their lives, other people, or the world in general aren’t met. Cynics accept the belief that there is no way to change the world, so it’s okay to just complain about it.

Cynicism represents a clue to burnout since it is formed by the belief that nothing can ever change. It’s having reached the stage of learned helplessness where you believe nothing you can do could possibly change the world or your corner of it. If you can’t change things, how personally effective are you?

Rob and Terri Bogue write, speak, and consult on improving workplaces, managing organizational change, and developing talent.

Visit the SHRMStore to order a copy of Extinguish Burnout.

ChenMed, LLC and PMR Virginia Holding, LLC. Pays $200,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Medical Center-Managing Companies Fired Market Sales Manager Following Cancer Diagnosis, Federal Agency Charged

NORFOLK, Va. – ChenMed, LLC and PMR Virginia Holding, LLC, Delaware corporations operating medical centers for seniors, will pay $200,000 and provide other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.   

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Trudy Jelderks was hired in August 2013 as a market sales manager (MSM) for the Tidewater, VA market. In June 2014, Jelderks was also assigned to cover the Richmond, VA market. Approximately two months later,
Jelderks informed her employers she had colon cancer. Shortly after disclosing her diagnosis, she was removed from the Richmond market.  Jelderks was then hospitalized due to her colon cancer that October. During her hospitalization, Jelderks
was pressured by the chief medical officer (CMO) to voluntarily give up her MSM duties, which she refused to do. Jelderks complained to the human resource office about the CMO’s request during her hospitalization. Approximately one month later, the
companies fired Jelderks because of her disability and in retaliation for her complaints about the CMO’s discriminatory conduct. 

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s disability. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division
(EEOC v. ChenMed, LLC and PMR Virginia Holding, LLC, Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-00516) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.

In addition to providing monetary relief for Jelderks, the companies entered into a two-year consent decree requiring them to re-distribute their formal, written anti-discrimination policy. The decree further requires the companies conduct
anti-harassment training for their officers, managers, supervisors and employees, post certain documents, and provide periodic reports to the EEOC.

“Employees who have cancer or have cancer in remission, are covered by the ADA’s prohibition on disability discrimination,” said Kara Haden, supervisory trial attorney with the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “This case highlights the ADA
offers protection to employees during all stages of a disability and to those employees who complain about disability discrimination.”

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by
subscribing to our email updates.

Keer America Corporation to Pay $32,000 To Settle Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Textile Manufacturer Discriminated Against Experienced Sales Leader By Firing Him After Learning His Age, Federal Agency Charged

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Indian Land, S.C., textile manufacturer Keer America Corporation has agreed to pay $32,000 and furnish other equitable relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the
federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Keer America offered Scott Gamble, a then 47 year-old sales leader, a job on April 18, 2015.  During the pre-screening hiring process, Keer America learned Gamble’s age and ordered the human resources generalist
to rescind Gamble’s job offer. The human resources generalist refused to rescind the job offer, and Gamble began working for Keer America on April 27.  The company then fired Gamble on May 8. 

Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) Act which protects individuals age 40 and older from discriminatory employment decisions based on their age.

The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court in South Carolina (EEOC v. Keer America Corporation, 0:17-CV-02360), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. 

In addition to providing monetary relief for Gamble, the company entered into a two-year consent decree requiring it to revise its written anti-discrimination policy and provide training to managers and human resources employees. The company will
also post a notice of employee rights under the ADEA and report future complaints of age discrimination to the EEOC.

“Employers who make age-based employment decisions are at risk of violating the ADEA when those decisions impact persons over the age of 40,” said Regional Attorney Lynette Barnes for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “The EEOC is committed
to combatting this practice and enforcing the ADEA against employers who discriminate against older workers.” 

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by
subscribing to our email updates.

Technology to Manage Workplace Immigration Is Booming

​Changing immigration policies and a resulting need for improved communication tools has led to innovations in technologies that HR professionals use for employment-based immigration work.

The proper capture, processing and storage of documents on employment eligibility and work authorization is necessary for businesses to comply with government regulations, and the recent increase in enforcement actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has put more employers at greater risk of audit. Established technology solutions such as case management software can automate complex immigration workflows and maintain audit trails.

But a more volatile immigration landscape has placed new demands on HR functions that often require more user-friendly technology solutions, experts say.

John Fay, president of the LawLogix division of Hyland Software, headquartered in Phoenix, said that in the past six months, he’s seen a growing focus by clients on improved communication tools for immigration issues. “They’re looking to capture information faster and more intelligently in a tightening immigration market,” he said. “Additional information is often being required of our HR clients today.”

That has resulted in requests for improved applicant questionnaires with the ability to automatically populate data onto required forms, and mobile-friendly, global-optimized technologies that allow HR to easily complete documents or conduct business from smartphones and tablets.

LawLogix responded by building a new technology interface for both HR users and foreign nationals, Fay said. The system makes finding required documents or information easier, and it enables more efficient communication with foreign nationals during what can be a stressful application process.

“The interface is more intuitive and anticipates what type of information is typically requested and where HR can sometimes get stuck,” Fay said.

San Francisco-based Pearl Law Group also recently launched a new platform, Pearl Immigration, which uses a new cloud-based technology to give HR users access to the latest immigration rules, tools, training and action items and integrates with many major HR information system platforms.

Among the key features of the platform are an immigration tracker that allows users to check the status of a case in real time and securely upload documents; a knowledge base to educate managers and employees on global immigration rules; a business traveler tool to help travelers comply with country-specific immigration rules; and a vault to store documents like required postings and H-1B public-access files, to keep organizations audit-ready.

Immigration experts believe there is room for even more automation in what has historically been a labor- and paperwork-intensive process. “There are still so many processes conducted manually in immigration relative to other parts of HR,” said Roman Zelichenko, co-founder and CEO of LaborLess, an immigration technology solution provider in New York City.

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Understanding and Obtaining U.S. Employment Visas]

New Providers Fill Market Niches

While established technology providers such as LawLogix, Pearl and INSZoom focus primarily on delivering full-service case management software, newer players are filling other market niches. Companies such as Docketwise, Prima Facie, CampLegal, MIMS and LaborLess offer more-specific automated solutions.

Zelichenko said his company, LaborLess, focuses primarily on automating the labor condition application (LCA) process, creating electronic LCA postings and public-access files for H-1B applications.

Employers who file an LCA are required to maintain a status file for each worker, and that file must be made available to the public at short notice upon request.

HR professionals using LaborLess can upload an initiated LCA, capture key information and create an electronic record quickly. Once the LCA record is confirmed as accurate, it can be posted electronically on a company’s intranet or as a public bulletin.

“In the old way of doing things, an HR specialist handling H-1Bs might receive an e-mail containing the LCA with instructions to print it out and post it, and the same goes for a public-access file that might be sent over partially completed by an attorney,” Zelichenko said. The automated process saves time by avoiding the back-and-forth e-mailing between HR and immigration attorneys, he said, and allows users to manage LCAs and public-access files in one central dashboard.

Rise of Integrated Systems

The growing use of application programming interfaces to connect different systems is another trend that is reshaping immigration technology.

“There’s a bigger appetite for connecting different immigration systems today, and it’s also much easier to do than in the past,” Fay said. Previously implementing these interfaces might have taken up to six months, he added, but with improvements in technology, better security protocols and greater openness to partnerships, it can take less than a month.

The Department of Labor’s newly modernized Foreign Labor Application Gateway portal also represents a more efficient and feature-rich system than the department’s previous platform for handling application filing and case management for foreign labor certification, Fay said. But despite that improvement, the portal has yet to offer the kind of application programming interfaces seen in the private-vendor market.

Innovations on the Horizon

Immigration technology may soon see another innovation that has made inroads in other areas of HR technology: predictive analytics tools. When processing immigration applications, HR captures significant amounts of data that might be used to aid future cases, Fay said.

For example, filing an H-1B visa for a registered nurse might be a challenging proposition today, but software that could analyze data from related applications previously processed could improve the odds of success.

“Predictive analytics might illustrate how an application worked successfully with a nurse with certain credentials at a particular service center in the past,” Fay said. “The artificial intelligence and machine learning could tell you, based on the particular details of a situation, that you have ‘X’ percent chance of getting a case approved and how to go about making it happen.”

Dave Zielinski is a freelance business writer and editor in Minneapolis.

EEOC Sues University of Miami for Wage Discrimination Against Female Professor

MIAMI – The University of Miami violated federal law by paying a female professor less than a male counterpart for performing equal or similar work, U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commis­sion (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

The University of Miami is a private university comprised of 12 schools and colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences which has approximately 400 faculty members. The University of Miami is one of the largest employers in Miami-Dade
County, Florida.

The EEOC’s suit charged that a male political science professor was paid more than a female political science professor even though the two professors were both awarded promotion to full pro­fessor on their first attempt at promotion, at the same
time, and with similar reviews by faculty. Through an inadvertently sent email, the female professor confirmed what she had before suspected – that the university was treating her less favorably than male faculty, specifically by paying her less
than her male counterpart. The female professor repeatedly complained to the University of Miami, but the pay disparity continued.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-23131) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida after first attempting to
reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

“Employers often get away with wage discrimination because of the secrecy around employee compensation,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Robert E. Weisberg. “In this case, an email confirmed what the professor had already suspected – that she was not
being treated equally to her male colleagues. The EEOC will fight vigorously to enforce her rights.”

EEOC District Director Michael Farrell added, “This is a case of a female employee’s work being given less value compared to her male colleague. The EEOC will fight for the principle of equal pay for equal work.”

The EEOC’s Miami District Office is comprised of the Miami, Tampa and San Juan EEOC offices, and has jurisdiction over Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by
subscribing to our email updates.

EEOC Sues American Security Insurance Company for Disability Discrimination

Insurance Company Unlawfully Fired Longtime Employee Based on Her Diabetes, Federal Agency Charges

ATLANTA – American Security Insurance Company, a for-profit insurance company and subsidiary of Assurant, Inc., violated federal disability discrimination law when it terminated an employee because of her diabetes, the U.S. Equal Employment
Oppor­tunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it recently filed.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Donna Stephens worked for the company as a senior processing clerk for almost 23 years. As a result of complications with Type II diabetes, Stephens requested an accommodation – to work from home.  After
Stephens’ accommodation request was granted, her supervisor constantly chastised her for teleworking, criticized her performance without basis, and finally fired her.

Such conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on an employee’s disability. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 1:19-CV-3411-AT-JKL) in U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking back pay, front pay, compensatory and punitive damages for Stephens, as well as
injunctive relief to prevent future discrimina­tion.

“After working for the company for more than 20 years and surviving a myriad of health issues, the company rewarded Ms. Stephens’s hard work and loyalty by firing her — simply because she exer­cised her right to a reasonable accommodation,” said
EEOC Regional Attorney Antonette Sewell. “The ADA was created to prohibit just this type of discrimination against employees, and the EEOC will keep enforcing it.”

Darrell Graham, director for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office, added, “Employees with disabilities continue to face unnecessary and discriminatory obstacles in the workplace. The EEOC is empowered to fight for the rights of people like Donna
Stephens and committed to enforcing federal civil rights laws in the workplace.”

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by
subscribing to our email updates.

EEOC Sues Medtronic for Disability Discrimination

Medical Device Manufacturer Fired Temporary Employee for Absences Related to Disability, Federal Agency Charges

Greenwood, S.C. – Medtronic, Inc., a Minneapolis-based company that develops and manufactures medical devices, violated federal law when it terminated April Jackson, a temporary employee, from its Greenwood, S.C., facility because of her
disability-related absences, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. The EEOC further charged that the company failed to provide a reasonable accommodation to Jackson and refused to directly hire
Jackson because of her disability.

According to the EEOC’s complaint, Jackson was placed to work at Medtronic’s Greenwood facility as a forklift driver / waste hauler by a temporary staffing agency on Oct. 3, 2016. The EEOC said Medtronic required temporary employees to follow the
company attendance policy. Jackson, who was born with one kidney and an under-formed bladder, missed work due to health issues caused by her disability. The EEOC said that on Feb. 10, 2017, Jackson returned to work following a disability-related
absence for which Jackson presented a doctor’s note. Medtronic terminated Jackson’s assign­ment that same day, asserting that Jackson was in violation of its attendance policy. The EEOC further alleges that Medtronic did not hire Jackson as a
permanent employee because of her disability, despite being in the process of doing so prior to her termination.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a disability unless doing so
would be an undue hardship. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (EEOC v. Medtronic, Inc., Civil Action No. 8:19-cv-02100-HMH-TER) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through
its concili­ation process. The EEOC seeks back pay and compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.

“Not only does the ADA protect employees, including temporary employees, from disability discrimination in the workplace, it places an affirmative requirement on employers to explore accom­modations to their generally applicable employment
policies, such as attendance policies,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “An employer simply cannot ignore an employee’s need for a reasonable accommodation of a disability, choosing instead to fire
the employee.”

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by
subscribing to our email updates.

Tapioca Express to Pay $102,500 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harrasment Lawsuit

Milk Tea Franchises Abused Young Filipino Females, Federal Agency Charges

SAN DIEGO – Asian tea and snack restaurant chain Tapioca Express and two of its franchisees have settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for $102,500 and other relief, the agency announced
today.

According to the EEOC, the owner of two Tapioca Express franchisees in Chula Vista and National City, Calif., harassed young Filipino female employees between the ages of 17 and 23, intentionally taking advantage of time alone with them to make
unwanted sexual advances. The harassment included repeated and unwanted comments of a sexual nature and physical contact. According to the lawsuit, some employees felt forced to quit due to the increased harassment. Additionally, the EEOC charged
that all three defendant com­panies failed to prevent and correct the harassing behavior even after a written complaint was submitted.

Such alleged conduct is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (EEOC v. Tapioca Express, Inc., Erivera Enterprise, LLC d/b/a Tapioca Express, and
Edeleen, Inc. d/b/a Tapioca Express, Case No. 3:18-cv-01217-MMA-BLM).

In addition to the monetary relief for the victims, Tapioca Express has agreed to retain an external monitor to assist the company with internal EEO audits, reviewing and revising its policies and procedures, and establishing a complaint
procedure. Tapioca Express will also provide anti-sexual harassment training to all employees. The court will maintain jurisdiction of the case for the term of the 30-month consent decree settling the suit. 

“Harassment remains a persistent problem in the workplace, which must be addressed top-down in any company,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, which includes San Diego County in its jurisdiction. “We are
encouraged by the steps Tapioca Express has taken to resolve this matter and the measures it has put in place to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination.”

Christopher Green, director of the EEOC’s San Diego Local Office, added, “We commend the young women for coming forward to shine a light on the harassment to which they were subjected. Their strength may give courage to other young people or
those in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community who may be suffering harassment or discrimination in the workplace to come forward as well.”

According the company’s website, www.tapiocaexpress.com, the South El Monte, Calif.-based franchise Tapioca Express specializes in milk tea and other popular snacks from Asia, with stores in California,
Nevada and Washington.

Preventing workplace harassment through systemic litigation and investigation is also one of the six national priorities identified by the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

The EEOC’s Youth@Work website (at http://www.eeoc.gov/youth/) presents information for teens and other young workers about employment discrimination, including curriculum guides for students and teachers and videos to help young workers learn
about their rights and responsibilities.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by
subscribing to our email updates.