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Know Your Rights
Source: New York Law Journal
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

Parties Settle in Suffolk Sexual Harassment Case

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a Long Island laundry have reached a $582,000 settlement in a sexual harassment suit filed in 2012 by the federal agency on behalf of eight former female employees.

The workers alleged that their supervisor at Suffolk Laundry Services in Southampton touched them inappropriately, made comments about their appearances and conditioned requests for time off or for machine repairs with demands that the women kiss him or sit on his lap.

The Eastern District suit, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Suffolk Laundry Services, 12-cv-409, also charged that female employees who complained of their treatment were either fired or had their hours changed as punishment.

The laundry service agreed to a four-year consent decree barring discrimination, instituting new procedures and mandating sexual harassment training.

Suffolk Laundry Services admitted no wrongdoing in entering into the consent decree.

Eastern District Judge Margo Brodie signed off on the agreement Monday.

The eight plaintiffs, all immigrants from Mexico or Central America, were represented by Nancy Trasande and Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Elizabeth Joynes of Make the Road New York and Kathleen Peratis and Christopher McNerney, partner and associate, respectively, of Outten & Golden.

EEOC attorneys Robert Rose, Nora Curtin, Adela Santos and Sebastian Daniel Riccardi represented their agency.

The owner of Suffolk Laundry Services, Walter Smith, was represented by several attorneys from Franklin, Gringer & Cohen of Garden City, including partner Martin Gringer.

Fees for the plaintiffs’ attorneys will be paid out of the plaintiffs’ share of the $582,000 settlement, the decree stipulated.
The settlement was first reported by Newsday.

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