Kingston Properties will pay $240,000 to five women to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sex, including subjecting employees a hostile work environment based on sex. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York (EEOC v. Birchez Associates LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 19-cv-8110) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Steve Aaron, the former owner and top management official of the affordable housing development company repeatedly subjected female employees to crude sexual comments. He frequently yelled at his female employees and used obscene sexist epithets. The harassment also involved unwelcome physical contact and subjecting a female employee to pornography on a cell phone. Despite repeated objections by female employees, the conduct did not stop, causing several women to resign.
During the lawsuit, a new owner purchased the properties. Under the decree, the new owner will not allow Steve Aaron or the top manager of the prior companies to be involved with their employees or in the management of the buildings.
The lawsuit and settlement are among a waive of employment discrimination lawsuits, settlements and charges the EEOC has announced in recent weeks which warn other employers to ensure their workplaces comply with federal sexual harassment and other employment discrimination laws. Employers covered by these rules are encouraged to take steps to position their organizations to avoid and defend against similar charges or disputes.
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About the Author
Recognized by her peers as a Martindale-Hubble “AV-Preeminent” (Top 1%) and “Top Rated Lawyer” with special recognition LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® as “LEGAL LEADER™ Texas Top Rated Lawyer” in Health Care Law and Labor and Employment Law; as among the “Best Lawyers In Dallas” for her work in the fields of “Labor & Employment,” “Tax: ERISA & Employee Benefits,” “Health Care” and “Business and Commercial Law” by D Magazine, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer is a practicing attorney board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and management consultant, author, public policy advocate and lecturer widely known for 35+ years of workforce and other management work, public policy leadership and advocacy, coaching, teachings, scholarship and thought leadership.
A Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel, Vice Chair of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) International Section Life Sciences and Health Committee, Past Chair of the ABA Managed Care & Insurance Interest Group, Scribe for the ABA JCEB Annual Agency Meeting with HHS-OCR, past chair of the ABA RPTE Employee Benefits & Other Compensation Group and current co-Chair of its Welfare Benefit Committee, Ms. Stamer’s work throughout her 35 year career has focused heavily on working with employer and other staffing and workforce organizations, health care and managed care, health and other employee benefit plan, insurance and financial services and other public and private organizations and their technology, data, and other service providers and advisors domestically and internationally with legal and operational compliance and risk management, performance and workforce management, regulatory and public policy and other legal and operational concerns. As an ongoing component of this work, she regularly advises, represents and defends businesses on FLSA, CAS, SCA, Davis-Bacon, Equal Pay Act and other wage and hour, compensation and benefit and other Human Resources, Guideline Program and other compliance, risk management and other internal and external controls in a wide range of areas and has published and spoken extensively on these concerns.
Ms. Stamer also is widely recognized for her decades of pragmatic, leading edge work, scholarship and thought leadership on workforce, compensation, and other operations, risk management, compliance and regulatory and public affairs concerns.
For more information about Ms. Stamer or her health industry and other experience and involvements, see www.cynthiastamer.com or contact Ms. Stamer via telephone at (214) 452-8297 or via e-mail here.
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