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Bartenders sue Hilton and female boss for sexual harassment

Bartenders at Hilton Minneapolis claimed their female supervisor made unwelcome sexual advances and demanded sexual favors for hotel customers. The supervisor allegedly retaliated against them when they refused.

In response to the treatment, the bartenders have filed a harassment suit in Hennepin County District Court and named the Hilton and former supervisor as defendants. The bartenders' attorney disclosed that they are still working at the hotel, although their hours were reduced. The bartenders also reported the matter to human resources; however, no action was taken and the problem continued.

The law suit charges that retaliation, assault, battery and negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, sexual discrimination and harassment and invasion of privacy all occurred.

This is not the first such lawsuit levied against the hotel. In 2008, three other employees filed a claim against Hilton when top management was discovered engaging in sexual activities. The employees involved in that case alleged that they were wrongfully terminated as retaliation after witnessing the incident. The Hilton denied the claims but settled the case after 15 months.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If the actions of a colleague, client or boss adversely influence an individual's work performance, or it builds an offensive or hostile work environment for the employees, such behavior is known to cause sexual harassment.

It is a misconception that sexual harassment is always inflicted by a male boss upon female employees. Sexual harassment can also be inflicted by females.

Sexual harassment can include unwanted sexual advances, unpleasant or insulting jokes or emails, comments or other undesired interactions. Unfortunately, it still exists at work and affects many workers. Victims of sexual harassment or retaliation can file complaints against their employers or supervisors. Lodging a complaint ensures that legal action can be pursued and that the victims will receive adequate protection without fear of retaliation.

Source: Twin Cities.com, "2 Hilton workers claim female boss made sexual moves on them," David Hanners, Sept. 20, 2012

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