Nazareth Living Care Center Harassed and Retaliated Against Two Housekeeping Employees, Federal Agency Charges
DALLAS – Paramount Healthcare Consultants, LLC, which operates facilities across Texas and Louisiana, and MPD Operators Nazareth Hall, LLC, doing business as Nazareth Living Care Center in El Paso, Texas, violated federal law when they allowed an administrator to sexually harass a housekeeping aide, and then retaliated against her and another employee for complaining, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, an administrator at Nazareth Living Care Center sexually harassed a housekeeping aide by subjecting her to unwelcome sexual comments and forcible kissing. When her male supervisor elevated the sexual harassment complaint, the human resources director at the facility was dismissive and suggested that the aide may have enticed the administrator to harass her.
The EEOC further alleges that no credible investigation was conducted into the complaint, and the administrator whose misconduct was reported was never disciplined. The aide was subjected to taunting and criticism by onsite management at the facility after her complaint. The supervisor who sought intervention from upper management to assist the aide was later given a written disciplinary warning for “gossiping.” Ultimately, both were constructively discharged, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, and retaliation for complaining about it. The EEOC filed suit, Civil Action No. 3:23-cv-00359 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. In this case, the EEOC seeks back pay, reinstatement or front pay, compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief for the housekeeping supervisor and housekeeping aide, including an order barring the defendants from engaging in discriminatory treatment in the future.
“This is a case involving an imbalance of power between the harasser and his victims who both worked in housekeeping,” said Joel Clark, a trial attorney in the EEOC’s Dallas District Office. “The harasser took advantage of his authority to sexually harass a subordinate employee. The EEOC will stand up for the rights of workers like these who, when they step forward, are unable get employer protection from hostile environments.”
Dallas EEOC Regional Attorney Robert Canino said, “Suffering harm, not being heard, and then continuing to work while at risk of being harmed again is not an experience employees should have to endure. When first-line supervisors try to do the right thing by reporting workplace wrongs with the intent to protect staff from discrimination or harassment, higher management is best served by receiving, reviewing and responding to such reports in an appropriate and effective manner.”
For more information on sexual harassment, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/sexual-harassment. For more information on retaliation, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/retaliation.
EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.