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Woman wins $125k after enduring a hostile work environment

West Virginia employers are expected to keep a safe environment that is free from harassment for all workers, but sometimes these situations are not properly handled. A former employee for Vacation Resorts International (VRI) claims that she was the victim of a hostile work environment and suffered sexual harassment from her manager. Even after reaching out for help, she claims that the problem was not remedied and turned to the civil court system for justice.

The plaintiff worked as a groundskeeper and housekeeper at one of the hotels that is a timeshare under VRI. She claims that her manager consistently asked her for sex and inappropriately touched her. Furthermore, she alleges that he showed her his genitals.

The woman complained to her manager's boss about what had happened to try to put a stop to the harassment. Although the boss had apparently witnessed the harassment, she did nothing. Ultimately, the plaintiff was suspended and later fired.

VRI and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission came to an agreement on the case, and VRI will pay $125,000 to the woman. In addition, VRI will be responsible for properly training its staff to ensure that employees are not subjected to a hostile work environment in the future. VRI does not admit to any wrongdoing but decided to settle to avoid the additional time and expense of litigation. Sexual harassment is a serious issue that should not be ignored. West Virginia employees in similar situations who do not have their issues satisfactorily resolved are within their legal rights to pursue claims against their employers.

Source: miamiherald.com, "Sexual harassment case settled between hotel worker, EEOC against Fort Lauderdale hotel", Chabeli Herrera, Feb. 17, 2016

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