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Financial institution settles sexual harassment charges

SunTrust Banks Inc. is one of the largest financial institutions doing business in the state of Florida, but this does not mean that its employees are able to break the law. The company has agreed to settle charges brought forth by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for $300,000.

According to the EEOC, a branch manager at one of its Florida locations sexually harassed three female workers, including an incident in which he used his body to trap one worker behind the teller counter. Furthermore, the EEOC noted that multiple complaints by employees to other managers were ignored, showing that the company did not take the action necessary to stop the harassment when it was first brought to light. SunTrust Banks Inc. was charged with violating Florida state laws as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A director for the EEOC said, "It is critical for employers to take prompt action once an employee reports sexual harassment. The women in this case expected to work in a professional environment and should not have been subjected to ongoing harassment by their supervisor."

While the bank made it clear in a statement that it does not condone such activity by any of its employees, and it has a strong commitment to protect against harassment in the workplace, nothing changes the fact that a manager was able to subject female workers to sexual harassment.

Fortunately, a settlement has been reached with the U.S. EEOC, and the manager who was accused of the act is no longer employed with SunTrust Banks Inc.

Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal, "SunTrust to pay $300K in Sarasota sexual harassment case" Jo-Lynn Brown, Jun. 10, 2014

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