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Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort faces sexual harassment complaints

The Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in Florida may be a great place to relax and get away for visitors, but a staff member tells a different story of what happens behind closed doors. A woman who worked as a housekeeper and groundskeeper for the resort alleges that she was subjected to sexual harassment at the hands of her manager. She claims that her complaints about the uncomfortable situation got her fired.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff's supervisor was very physical with her and made several attempts to pull her onto his lap and touch her breasts. He also allegedly propositioned her for sex on a regular basis and exposed himself to her. The plaintiff was apparently not the only victim of the harassment, as other female staff members were touched inappropriately and endured lewd comments made about their bodies.

The plaintiff could not tolerate the behavior and complained to her supervisor's boss multiple times trying to get it to stop. Not only did her supervisor's boss know about the harassment, but also she had apparently witnessed it. The woman claims that still nothing was done, which caused her to take her complaint a step further up the chain of command. She also claims that she even threatened to tell her harasser's wife about the harassment.

After the plaintiff's threats reached a higher level, she was terminated. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint in a Florida federal court on her behalf against Vacation Resorts International, which is the company that owns the resort. VRI is accused of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act because it allegedly retaliated against her for reporting the sexual harassment. In her lawsuit, the woman is seeking lost wages, punitive damages, and either reinstatement or compensatory damages. The EEOC decided to take this case to court after a pre-litigation settlement attempt failed.

Source: browardpalmbeach.com, "Lawsuit Alleges Sexual Harassment at Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort", Chris Joseph, Oct. 1, 2015

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