Kauai sexual harassment suit settled for $215,000

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A New York based company has settled a federal lawsuit by two firefighters on Kauai.

ITT Corp. will pay $215,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit. The suit claims that a female firefighter at Kauai's Pacific Missile Range Facility was sexually harassed and that a male co-worker was retaliated against for complaining about the harassment.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission male co-workers and supervisors subjected firefighter Melissa Pacheco to overtly sexual remarks and drawings. The suit also claims that despite her objections, they watched pornographic programs and videos at work in her presence.

As part of the settlement, ITT entered into a three-year consent decree providing for monetary relief for the two victims. The company will also create an outreach fund to actively recruit females into firefighter positions at the Pacific Missile Range Facility.

The decree also requires training for all ITT personnel assigned to Pacific Missile Range Facility.

"We commend ITT for entering into an early resolution and agreeing to the breadth of relief remedies," said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, which has jurisdiction over Hawaii. "We encourage other industries which have historically low female representation to ensure an environment with equal employment opportunities."

According to its website, ITT Corporation employs over 40,000 people around the world in three vital markets: water and fluids management; global defense and security; and motion and flow control technology. ITT is also one of the largest employers on Kauai.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.