EEOC's 'Youth at Work' Protects Teenage Workers from Harassment

January 27, 2010

In a recent blog, our California Employment Attorneys discussed the seriousness of teenage sexual harassment in the workplace, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) fight to keep young workers protected and educated as to their employment rights.

In 2007, according to an analysis of seven years of EEOC data, restaurants accounted for the majority of employers sued by the EEOC over alleged harassment of teenagers in the workplace. In the study, dating back to 1999, out of 127 EEOC complaints involving teenagers, 72 were against restaurant companies, and all but 11 of these were sexual harassment cases. Restaurants paid out more than $7.3 million to settle teenage harassment lawsuits.

According to the EEOC, an alarmingly high number of cases are now being reported by high school students who have experienced sexual harassment from their managers or supervisors. The EEOC claims that employers who choose to hire teenagers have a responsibility to protect them under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under law, it is illegal to harass or discriminate against teenage employees based on gender, race, color, sex (including pregnancy), national origin or age, in hiring, firing, training, wages, benefits and promotions.

The EEOC states that when workers complain to supervisors about harassment in the workplace, it is the responsibility of the employer to take action and end the unlawful discrimination. The commission also stated that cases involving the sexual harassment of teenage victims need to be taken seriously.

In 2004, the EEOC implemented a program entitled, "Youth at Work," to help protect teenage workers from sexual harassment and discrimination on the job, and to educate the young workers of their rights in the workplace.

Howard Law, PC represents employees who have been sexually harassed and are seeking recovery. Our team of experienced California Labor & Employment Attorneys are committed to aggressively representing you and protecting your employment rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.

EEOC: Industry Sued Most in Claims of Teen Harassment, Nation's Restaurant News, February 5, 2007

Related Web Resources:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Youth at Work: Your Rights