Feds Sue Staffing Company over Sexual Harassment at Kansas Site
An international staffing company violated federal law when it allowed a manager at a Kansas City, Kan., worksite to repeatedly sexually harass female workers on a manufacturing line, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has charged in a lawsuit filed in federal court.
According to the EEOC’s suit, a male account manager for Staff Management | SMX repeatedly made explicit sexual comments to female employees and demanded sexual favors. The harassment occurred at a Procter & Gamble manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Kan., where Staff Management | SMX hired and supervised employees who boxed soap for shipping, the EEOC said.
One female employee, Jaurdai Walker, reported that the manager repeatedly called her “baby,” told her she was “sexy,” and asked her for oral sex in exchange for paid time off. She refused and reported the harassment to another supervisor, who told her she should “screw him” and take the extra pay, the lawsuit charges.
The harassment continued, and on one occasion the account manager exposed his genitals to Walker, according to the suit. After she reported the harassment again to a different supervisor, Staff Management | SMX investigated but allowed the manager to return to work.
The manager later threatened Walker and demanded to know why she reported his misconduct, the suit alleged. Other male employees also intimidated Walker because she reported the harassment. Walker was so traumatized by these actions and Staff Management | SMX’s failure to protect her that she was forced to quit her job, according to the federal agency.
The EEOC said it filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, Case No. 2:18-cv-02058, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation resolution through the agency’s conciliation process.
Staff Management | SMX is a subsidiary of Tacoma, Wash.-based True Blue Inc., the EEOC said. Staff Management | SMX provides temporary and seasonal workers to other companies throughout North America.