EEOC Brings Second Sexual Harassment Suit Against Empire State Firm

August 18, 2005 ( - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a sexual harassment suit against the Queens, New York law firm of Rappaport Hertz Cherson & Rosenthal.

The law firm settled a previous EEOC sexual harassment claim less than two years ago, according to the New York Law Journal. The previous suit filed on behalf of one female attorney and two other female employees accused the firm of subjecting “female employees to lewd comments, looks and gestures on a daily basis and to pornographic images maintained and displayed on computers in the office.”

The current suit charges the firm with being in contempt of the consent decree for the previous case, which forbids it from further sexual harassment or discrimination, the NY Law Journal reports. In the suit, the EEOC charges the firm with allowing employee Melissa Castillo to be subjected to “persistent and frequent” sexual harassment, including unwanted verbal and physical conduct, beginning in May 2003.

The EEOC said the firm’s lack of action on Castillo’s complaints meant the firm constructively discharged her when she left in August 2004.

Though the harassment was perpetrated by someone different than in the first suit, EEOC attorney Michelle Caiola said, “… the people in charge, who were responsible for making sure there was no sexual harassment, are the same.”