Tourism & Cruises

Sexual harassment case settled between hotel worker, EEOC against Fort Lauderdale hotel

The Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, where former employee Katrina Archer alleged her male manager sexually harassed her.
The Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, where former employee Katrina Archer alleged her male manager sexually harassed her. www.flbeachresort.com

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a case Wednesday against a Fort Lauderdale hotel after it fired a female employee who had reported sexual harassment by a male manager.

Vacation Resorts International, which provides management and marketing services to timeshare resorts — including Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, where the incident took place — will pay the woman $125,000 and provide training services for hotel staff, according to the settlement.

The woman, identified as housekeeping and groundkeeping employee Katrina Archer, reported repeated sexual harassment from her manager, who allegedly exposed his genitals to her, grabbed her chest and repeatedly propositioned her for sex, according to the lawsuit.

The harassing manager’s supervisor, to whom Archer complained, had witnessed some of the harassment herself, according to the lawsuit. But no corrective action was taken and eventually Archer was suspended and then fired.

In addition to the damages paid to Archer, Vacation Resorts International will provide sexual harassment and retaliation training to all of its employees at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, as well as one-on-one training for the accused harasser and his supervisor.

Both are still employed in the same positions, said Daniel Seltzer, the EEOC’s lead trial attorney in the case.

In a statement, Vacation Resorts International said it agreed to the training “as a means of furthering the mutual interests of both VRI and the EEOC in ensuring that all VRI employees are afforded a harassment-free workplace.”

“In the Archer matter, VRI elected to settle this matter without admission of any wrongdoing, simply as a means of avoiding the disruption and expense that often accompanies extended litigation,” the company said.

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