The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is tasked with investigating, among other issues, sexual harassment in employment scenarios across the country.
Including claims against its own supervisors.
The agency has confirmed a probe into a regional supervisor who has been accused by subordinates of exchanging sex for favorable treatment at work.
A government publication report the supervisor, Katherine Gonzalez of the Miami District Office, is accused of “engaging in sexual quid pro quo arrangements with subordinates.”
“She’s accused of proposing sex to male employees in exchange for more favorable treatment at work. Those who rebuffed her advances, according to multiple individuals in the office, were subject to increased workloads, given the most complex cases to investigate, and tasked with running her personal errands,” according to the GovExec.com report.
“The exact details of the probe remain under wraps, but some employees in the office shared their version of events,” the report said.
“One employee in the Miami office who asked not to be named out of fear of retaliation alleged that he was pressured into having sex with Gonzalez. He told Government Executive the incidents began almost immediately after he started working at the Miami office. Gonzalez, who was his supervisor, pushed her breasts against him multiple times in his first week, he said, and things escalated from there. She began asking for favors, food and gifts. She demanded the employee, who was married, bring her flowers on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. All of the requests came with an implication that she would ruin his work life if he did not comply, he said.
“The investigation followed informal complaints that started in 2015 and continued into 2016. Then last year employees presented a formal written complaint to the Miami district director, including a photograph an employee had snapped when Gonzalez exposed her breasts to those in the office,” the report said.
The government watchdog Judicial Watch said it was a “curious twist” that has the agency “responsible for enforcing the nation’s workplace discrimination laws” in this position.
Judicial Watch accused the EEOC of “trying to keep it quiet.”
“While its own house is in disarray, the EEOC is known for overreaching and aggressively hounding private businesses and government agencies over questionable cases of discrimination,” Judicial Watch said.
“Under the Obama administration the EEOC shattered records in its mission to eradicate workplace discrimination, mainly by filing high-profile cases that earned large settlements for ‘vulnerable groups’ such as immigrant and migrant workers. American businesses that didn’t accommodate Muslims were especially targeted and that didn’t necessarily change when Donald Trump moved into the White House,” the watchdog said.
“In fact, earlier this year Judicial Watch reported that the Trump EEOC sued a security company for refusing to modify its grooming standards for a Muslim employee. The firm was accused of religious discrimination because the Muslim employee requested the grooming exemption in accordance with his ‘sincerely held religious beliefs.’ The security firm eventually settled with the government, the security guard got $90,000 in damages and the company had to hire an equal employment monitor and revise its religious accommodation policies,” Judicial Watch said.