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Hawaii company forced to settle discrimination lawsuit


According to a report in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the federal government has mandated that a New York-based company located at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, settle a discrimination lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, involves a female firefighter who claimed a high-technology engineering and manufacturing company located on the site subjected her to a hostile environment. The plaintiff alleges company workers were guilty of making overtly sexual remarks and drawings. In addition, she was forced to watch "explicit television programs" while working at the site in 2006.

The plaintiff claims she complained about the actions, however, management failed to recognize and address the problem in a manner consistent with federal laws. Instead, the plaintiff was reassigned, disciplined and told to "get along" with her co-workers.

The other plaintiff is a male union steward who was also reassigned after he helped the other plaintiff with her civil rights complaint.

The case highlights the importance of several areas for businesses. First, companies need to avoid discriminatory actions at all costs, as they can result in expensive professional liability lawsuits. Furthermore, businesses need to adhere to any governing laws and regulations, whether they be industry-specific or issued by federal agencies. Failure to do so can lead to hefty fines or other dire consequences. 

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