by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Representatives from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are on island and hoping to provide updates to Guam's employer community about their obligations to employees to prevent discrimination lawsuits. Currently the EEOC is pursuing litigation against Aviation Concepts for alleged religious discrimination and MD Wholesale for alleged sexual harassment.
Senior trial attorney Carol Igoe says both cases are important as employers must realize they have a duty to accommodate their employee's religious needs without undue hardship. As for sexual harassment cases, noting, "That's where the gap is often times is you have mid level managers who are not doing their employers justice in how they are interacting with employees and then you get a problem that whines up in a federal lawsuit where is there had been adequate training, a good policy in place, or education then this might have been avoided."
Aviation concepts allegedly fired an assistant mechanic for refusing to raise a U.S. and Guam flag at his jobsite as doing so was against his religious beliefs. The trial is set for January 9 of next year. The company has denied any discrimination. MD Wholesale meanwhile is accused of failing to take corrective measures after female employees were allegedly targets of unwelcome sexual remarks and inappropriate touching.
The trial is set to begin on December 10.