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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Civil Rights Commission’s (ICRC) Deputy Director Akia Haynes announced today that there is probable cause to believe that a former employee of Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Ind. was subjected to sexual harassment which led to her resignation.
An investigation stemming from an August 6, 2013 Complaint filed with the ICRC found that the Complainant alleges that on or about July 12, 2013, a male co-worker tried to kiss her twice, attempted to touch her breasts and made unwanted sexual comments about her breasts. Further, Complainant alleges that a second male co-worker photographed the incidents and encouraged the other male co-worker to continue harassing the Complainant.
On the same day of the alleged incident, the Complainant reported the harassment to her supervisor. While Respondent contends it took immediate action by terminating the alleged harasser within 48 hours of the Complainant reporting the incident and offered to modify her schedule, it has failed to provide any evidence to substantiate these claims. Moreover, available evidence shows that the alleged harasser’s brother worked on the alternative shift offered to Complainant. As such, the Complainant resigned her employment.
In order to prevail, Complainant must show that: (1) she was subjected to unwelcome sexually offensive or unwelcome comments/actions in the workplace; (2) the comments/actions were sufficiently severe or pervasive such that it would interfere with a reasonable employee’s employment; (3) Complainant made it known that the comments were unwelcome; and (4) Respondent failed to take corrective action to address the hostile work environment resulting in Complainant resigning her employment.
A finding of probable cause does not resolve a Civil Rights Complaint. Rather, it means the State has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the Indiana Civil Rights Laws have been violated. Indiana Civil Rights Law provides remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer’s policies and training.
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Brad Meadows, ICRC Deputy Director for External Affairs, at (317) 232-2651.