Online College to Pay $260K to Settle EEOC Lawsuit

May 20, 2011 ( - High-Tech Institute, Inc., doing business as Anthem College Online, will pay $260,000 as part of a settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC, six female admissions representatives working at the Phoenix, Arizona, location were frequently harassed by three supervisors. The agency’s allegations include that the supervisors engaged in unwanted touching and comments, wrote suggestive e-mails, and solicited sex from employees during unwelcome visits to the employees’ homes in the early morning hours.   

Some of this abusive behavior was witnessed by other Anthem College employees.  

The agency said the company’s former human resource manager wrote that Anthem College employees were fearful to come forward because an alleged harasser was seen drinking and socializing with upper management and that there was blatant disrespect to employees and rampant poor management.  

According to the EEOC, the company unreasonably delayed removing a class member from under the supervision of an alleged harasser who, the company’s own former human resources manager testified, was a “psychopath.” The agency argued that despite Anthem College’s knowledge about the harassment, the company failed to take reasonable steps to investigate and remedy the harassment.