Cheap Tickets Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment Claims

August 8, 2003 ( - An online travel services retailer has agreed to a $1.1-million out-of-court settlement of a federal court sexual harassment lawsuit alleging that the firm's women call center operators were "subject to a sexually hostile work environment."

>The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that the settlement with Cheap Tickets involved the agency’s lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The suit alleged that female agents working at Cheap Tickets’ Los Angeles Call Center (which closed in September 2001) were sexually harassed by their supervisors. The EEOC also alleged that the woman who filed the initial discrimination charge was subjected to retaliation

“The Commission recognizes that many employees may feel that they are taking considerable risks with their jobs in complaining about discrimination so I am particularly pleased that through this settlement the Commission was able to obtain significant relief for victims who previously may have been afraid to come forward,” said Gregory Gochanour, acting regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, in a statement.

>Kris Kentera, Vice President, overseeing Cheap Tickets’ contact center operations, said the company does not admit wrongdoing.

“Cheap Tickets maintains a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination in any form and remains committed to providing a positive work environment, through strict policies and ongoing training, that values diversity and provides equal employment opportunity for all employees,” Kentera said in a statement.