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EEOC sues Colorado nursing home operator



The U.S. Gender Equality Commission said Friday it has filed a lawsuit against a nursing home operator in Colorado for tolerating the sexual harassment of its female employees.

The EEOC said in a statement that customers of the San Juan Living Center, which is run by Montrose, Colorado-based Sava Senior Care LLC, repeatedly subjected female employees to sexual harassment, including grabbing their breasts and buttocks. them about sexual benefits and use inappropriate sexual language around them.

The EEOC also said that Sava did nothing to stop the harassment or prevent future harassment despite the complaints of the female employees. It is alleged that Sava retaliated against a female employee who reported the harassment by shutting her down without pay and firing her within days of her complaint. violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The agency said the lawsuit was filed after it first tried to reach a voluntary settlement. It seeks compensation and punitive damages for the female employee who is subjected to the alleged sexual harassment, reimbursement for the employee who is subjected to the alleged retaliation and an appropriate injunction, the agency said in its statement.

Mary Jo O & # 39; Neill, Regional Attorney at the EEOC District Office in Phoenix, said in a statement, "Employers must ensure that their employees can work in an environment free from sexual harassment.

" When an employer finds out that an employee is being sexually harassed, the employer must act immediately regardless of whether the alleged harassment is a manager, employee or client. "

Nursing homes did not respond to a request for comment.

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