Aqua Tri, Irvine Pool Supply Company, Pays Nearly Half a Mil to Settle Latinas' Sexual Harassment Suit

Categories: Court
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Aqua Tri has agreed to pay nearly half a million dollars to settle a federal lawsuit that accused two supervisors at the Irvine pool supply company of sexually harassing eight Latina workers, retaliating when the women sought to end it and forcing some out of their jobs, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced today. The supervisors were Hispanic men who made sexually explicit remarks, touched the women inappropriately, pressured them for dates and offered job promotions in exchange for sex, the EEOC adds.

Although two of the women reported the harassment to Aqua Tri's plant manager and human resources manager, no action was taken against the brutes. Instead, one of the complaining women was demoted (she ultimately quit in protest), while the other was denied overtime, isolated from her co-workers and given tasks outside her job description like cleaning plant toilets, according to the EEOC.

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Getting no remedy at work, the women filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC in 2008. The federal agency later discovered seven male Hispanic workers who were perceived to have supported the women's claims were fired or laid off after a 2009 internal investigation by the supplier of pool sanitizing chemicals and other pool prod­ucts.

"Although the company cited a 'lack of work' for the layoffs, the EEOC found that the staff, which had good performance records, was replaced by new hires within just a couple of months," reads an EEOC statement on the settlement.

Sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, notes the EEOC, which originally filed its lawsuit against Aqua Tri in September 2009 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The two sides then set about trying to reach a settlement to avoid trial.

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Aqua Tri HQ on Mitchell in Irvine
In addition to paying $462,500 to resolve the suit, Aqua Tri haas agreed to establish and hire a Spanish-speaking human resources specialist and equal employ­ment opportunity (EEO) consultant to assist with revising the company's complaint policies and procedures with respect to the handling of harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace in both English and Spanish.

The company must also create a complaint hotline for workers, train all employees on their rights under Title VII in both English and Spanish (with specialized training for supervisors), include compliance to EEO policies in performance evaluations of supervisors and report all discrimination and harassment complaints to the EEOC. 

"We commend Aqua Tri for implementing aggressive injunctive relief measures to ensure this will not happen again," Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, says in the statement.

Sounds as if Aqua Tri didn't have a choice.


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18 comments
mitch young
mitch young

How about this for a headline"Latino Males Harass Female Subordinates" 

909Jeff
909Jeff

Is the girl in the picture one of the employees? because c'mon who wouldn't... 

Bill T.
Bill T.

I get your point but my take on this is:1. Companys who tolerate totally inappropriate actions by their employees can not assume it won't cost them.2. Latinas, a group long assumed to be easy targets for harassment, can take heart that some justice does occur.3. This kind of environment makes unions much more attractive to the workers, management isn't looking out for them, they'll have to do it themselves.

Verga Huensa
Verga Huensa

And Anglos pay court costs, translators fees, attorney's fees and the eventual settlement amount.  Cheap labor isn't cheap.

Bill T.
Bill T.

A man with some self-respect?

909Jeff
909Jeff

My Latina Esposa is a 3rd degree black belt... I like to see the sorry bastard that tries to harass her.   HELL I DON'T EVEN HARASS HER!

909Jeff
909Jeff

Ohhhhhhhhhh you got me Bill!  Look at bill taking the high road. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

I figured.. Sometimes I just want to be a smart ass!  But I do look forward to future sparring matches!

Bill T.
Bill T.

P. S. This very point is one of the things I really like about the OCW, it does bring people together and seed discussions, friendly and otherwise.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Actually, I prefer to think of it as a discussion.  I was trying hard to be polite and just bring up some points that occurred to me.

I actually do regard your comments and try to come up with as cogent responses as I am able.

If we can be friendly and argue, all the better,  it's good for me to try to think.  For a change.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Bill do we always have to fight?  I mean can you see what this is doing to the children?  

Bill T.
Bill T.

The capacity to self-protect is important, but there is always going to be someone biggger and badder out there. Also, do you protest, kick the slimy pendejo where it would do the most and lose the income that's feeding your kids or put up and shut up because you see no possibility of justice?

mitch young
mitch young

I thought it was "never get your meat where you get your bread".

909Jeff
909Jeff

Hey other than the fact that I'm happily married I have always lived by certain rules, one of those being "Never go fishing off the company pier"

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Bill does that. :-)  Not to say there's anything wrong with LOOKING at a pretty woman (or a handsome man), but it's generally wise to keep certain comments (and body parts) to yourself...especially if it's someone you work with...

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