United HealthCare of Florida Settles Same-Sex Harassment Suit

November 30, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that United HealthCare of Florida, Inc. will pay $1.8 million to settle a same-sex harassment and retaliation lawsuit.

Citing Business and Legal Reports, Inc. (blr.com), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) said the settlement additionally requires United HealthCare to distribute a new anti-harassment policy to all Florida employees and train all employees and managers at its Sunrise, Florida, facility on federal employment discrimination laws including sexual harassment and retaliation.

The suit alleged that a male former regional vice president of key accounts subjected a male former top senior account executive to repeated verbal sexual harassment. The EEOC said that after the senior account executive complained several times to upper management, the company retaliated against him by subjecting him to discipline and denying him stock options and commissions, according to the news report.

The employee also complained to the former and current chief executive officers of the parent company, United HealthGroup, Inc., who did not take action to correct the discrimination. The EEOC said the top executive quit because he could no longer tolerate the retaliatory conduct.