Mediacom Communications Corp., a nationwide provider of telecommunications services, violated federal law by subjecting female workers to a sexually hostile work environment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, a male customer service employee, working in Mediacom’s Valdosta, Ga. facility, made sexual advances towards female customer service representatives. Crystal Vinson and Breanna Caldwell, two female customer service employees reported to the company that the male employee harassed them. On one occasion, the male employee exposed his genitalia to Ms. Vinson in the workplace. Despite their complaints, the company failed to take prompt, remedial action to stop the harassment.
Such conducts violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 7:18-cv-00166-HL) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The federal agency seeks back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for Ms. Vinson, Ms. Caldwell, and other women subjected to the harassment, as well as injunctive relief designed to prevent such discrimination in the future.
“The company knew, from its own managers, HR personnel, and its investigation, that this harassment was occurring, but the company did not protect its employees as required by law,” said Antonette Sewell, regional attorney for the Atlanta District Office.
Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, director of the Atlanta District Office stated “Women employees should not have to face sexual harassment from co-workers to earn a living.”