Arizona Paving Contractor Settles Sex Harassment Suit

July 3, 2006 ( - An Arizona paving contractor settled a sexual harassment suit from some of its workers, though the company's president denied any wrongdoing.

Sunland President Doug Declusin announced that the company would settle the “unfounded and unproven” allegations, and he contended that Sunland did not engage in any unlawful harassment or retaliation against any employees. Declusin said the company is settling the dispute to “allow the company to move ahead,” according to the Arizona Daily Star.

In September, Sunland vice president Mike McWenie told the Star that the allegations were overstated and stem from just one incident that occurred in 1999 (See EEOC Sues AZ Paving Firm over Sex Harassment ). “I can’t comment on any of the details or the personalities involved. All I can tell you is that we feel like we have complied with all federal and state laws on this,” McWenie told the newspaper.

Sunland Inc. in Tuscon paid $120,000 to male workers who filed a lawsuit in September against a foreman and his brother, a worker, alleging that they had sexually harassed them. In the lawsuit, workers claim that the two men harassed male workers by grabbing their genitals, simulating sex acts and attempting to kiss them.

In addition to the money settlement, a company official will apologize to the workers, and the company will also revise its policies and hold anti-sexual harassment training for the next five years, the Star reported.

The regional attorney for the EEOC said a superintendent brushed off a worker’s complaint of sexual harassment, and another worker was told he could forget about being promoted, according to the newspaper.