EEOC sues Centurion Stone for same-sex sexual harassment

Nashville-based manufacturer Centurion Products, Inc., also known as Centurion Stone, is an industry-leading manufacturer of stone veneers that has been in business since 1969. That makes the company one of the oldest in its industry. Its products are distributed all across North America.

Now the company is under fire for ignoring complaints about same-sex sexual harassment. According to a new lawsuit, Centurion Stone violated federal law by allowing its male supervisory staff to subject several male employees to sexual harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced.

According to EEOC’s suit, a male floor supervisor made sexually charged insults and innuendos on a near-daily basis and also engaged in unwelcome grabbing, groping and humping the victims, attempting penetration of male employees’ buttocks with a broomstick, and kissing. Although members of management allegedly received numerous complaints from the employees about the harassment, Centurion failed to take action to stop the harassment.

According to filings, such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed its suit (EEOC v. Centurion Products, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:16-cv-02616) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division.

Before filing the suit, the EEOC had first sought to reach a settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC seeks injunctive relief prohibiting Centurion from tolerating sexual harassment in the future, as well as compensatory and punitive damages for the harassment victims.

“Management officials have a responsibility to address the complaints of its employees involving sexual harassment,” said Katharine W. Kores, district director of EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. “In June 2016, the Commission issued a Report on Workplace Harassment. One of the key findings in the report is that effective harassment prevention efforts, and workplace culture in which harassment is not tolerated, must start with and involve the highest level of management.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.

 

 

 

 

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