Long Beach Renaissance Sued for Sex Harassment

A pair of female employees named Liz Cuevas and Theresa Evangelista sued the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach in April 2016 alleging the hotel and their supervisor sexually harassed them and the company failed to prevent and remedy the harassment, according to the Long Beach Post.

Both Cuevas and Evangelista claimed that their supervisor David Flores engaged in instances of sexual harassment and assault, including reaching for and touching Cuevas’ vaginal area and attempting to kiss and spank her. Flores also allegedly offered Cuevas more hours of work if she would agree to have sex with him. According to the lawsuit, the Renaissance allowed a male-dominated and “vulgar” culture to persist at the hotel, and did nothing to prevent it.

Cuevas and Evangelista’s lawsuit comes on the heels of a prior wage & hour lawsuit filed against the Long Beach Renaissance in summer 2015. That case claimed the hotel not only violated California meal and rest break laws and wage payment laws, but also forced employees to work in dangerous and unhealthy conditions at that property.

The lawsuits are just another pair of examples of lack of corporate control over compliance. Specifically, Cuevas’ lawsuit alleges a claim for failure to prevent sexual harassment. Indeed, plaintiffs’ claim they were forced to endure graphic sexual comments and inappropriate advances for years, and that they complained to management repeatedly to no avail. On the heels of the wage theft lawsuit this is an absolute public relations disaster for Renaissance that will not end. When picketing ensued in 2015 the hotel’s operations were stifled. Now that it is in the news again for all the wrong reasons we are left to speculate what kind of negative impact there will be for its business in the coming months.

Quid pro quo harassment like the kind alleged by Cuevas is the easiest form of harassment to prevent. Training managers and supervisors on the level of danger of engaging in this sort of behavior is absolutely critical in today’s work environment. Flores was individually named in the lawsuit against Renaissance. This means that any judgment levied against him will have to be paid out of his own pocket, without the possibility of indemnity by the company. Corporate executives simply cannot overlook such disgusting behavior. The costs in both public relations and damages dollars are simply too high.

Syntrio’s compliance continuum is aimed at teaching companies and their workforce the evils of non-compliance with the law. While many human resources professionals are willing to provide harassment training to their managers, they often ignore critical issues like the wage and hour problems presented in the first Renaissance lawsuit.

Syntrio’s specialists conduct a full-scale audit of your company’s training needs, and our experts offer an honest assessment of the training program that will be right for your business. We follow up that audit with Compliance Moments short-form videos to prime the user for training, and keep them engaged throughout the full-scale program with entertaining scenarios based on real life cases. Most importantly, Syntrio is always on the cutting edge of the law and will have your company prepared for issues well before they happen. 

Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our ethics and compliance online courses for and remember to follow us on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on compliance that impact your company!


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