EEOC Sues Wyndham for Same-sex Harassment of Teen Boys

October 27, 2008 ( - Hotel giant WorldMark by Wyndham will pay $370,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The agency announced that under a consent decree filed in federal court, WorldMark by Wyndham agreed to pay a total of $370,000 to four former employees. The company also agreed to provide anti-discrimination training for managers, supervisors, and employees at Birch Bay Resort in Blaine, Washington, and to establish policies and procedures to address sexual harassment issues.

Wyndham will also report any future discrimination complaints to the EEOC and allow agency to monitor the work site for the next three years, the announcement said.

The EEOC charged that the company failed to stop the manager of its Birch Bay Resort from sexually harassing young male employees. According to the EEOC’s investigation, the resort manager, male and in his 40s, repeatedly subjected young male employees between the ages of 17 and 25 to unwelcome touching of a sexual nature, comments about their physical appearance, and sexually charged situations.

According to the announcement, one of the former employees said, “I was humiliated by what was happening to me at work — everyone knew and many people just laughed about it.”

“The facts in this case are shocking,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Bill Tamayo, in the announcement. “The manager abused his power and exploited the vulnerabilities of a young male staff. Putting teens at risk in this way can devastate their lives and destroy the company’s own credibility. We trust this case sends a message that the EEOC will not tolerate this type of abuse.”