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Wheelchair assistance service ordered to fix harassment procedures

Most news reports about sexual harassment seem to be written about a woman who was harassed. While many instances do involve women, it is important to remember that sexual harassment occurs in both directions, and both genders are protected under the law from the unwanted behavior.

A lawsuit was recently filed involving a man who worked for a company called Prospect Airport Services, Inc. The company provided wheelchair assistance services to Airlines across the country. The man who filed the lawsuit claims that he was repeatedly harassed by a female co-worker shortly after his wife died.

According to the lawsuit, the harassment began in 2002. The woman had started sending notes to the man that included very sexually suggestive language. After several letters and several rejections from the man, he notified his general manager. The manager failed to take the complaints seriously and did nothing to stop the harassment from intensifying. In fact, only a short while later, the woman sent a photo of her partially nude body. In the photo, the woman was also making lewd gestures. When he continued to reject her advances, she began making comments about his sexuality.

When the man finally left the company, he filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit was later filed in 2005 and cited Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. According to the lawsuit, the company had no procedure for handling sexual harassment claims. A judge ordered the man's former employer to implement procedures that would address and help actively prevent sexual harassment against both men and women.

Source: Human Resources Journal, "Company Ordered by Judge to Implement Procedures for Preventing Harassment," July 31, 2012

Sexual harassment in the workplace is wrong, period. If you believe you have suffered unwelcome behavior based on your gender, our sexual harassment page contains more information.

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