EEOC sues BNSF Railway for years of sexual harassment, hostile work environment


(KSNT) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in St. Louis released a statement today that said, BNSF Railway violated federal law by subjecting female employees at its Alliance, Nebraska railyard to years of sexual harassment and sexually hostile work environment.

According to the lawsuit filed today, female workers at the facility were subjected to an almost daily barrage of harassing conduct and comments from male coworkers and supervisors.

The EEOC claims “the alleged treatment, which has been ongoing for many years, included sexual and derogatory comments, slurs, graffiti, and sexually suggestive and nude photos of women. When female employees complained about the harassment, company supervisors allegedly brushed it off, sometimes laughing or telling the women, “welcome to the railroad”’.

The suit claims BNSF, which is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, failed to take any action to meaningfully fix the problem.

“Sexual harassment has no place in the American workplace. Employers are obliged to prevent this type of conduct and must take appropriate and effective action to rid their workplaces of sexually harassing conduct,” L. Jack Vasquez, Jr., director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District office said.

According to a statement released by the EEOC, St. Louis District Office the conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“There is still work to be done to ensure employees in all workplaces are able to do their jobs without the humiliation, stress, and fear caused by illegal sexual harassment,” said Andrea G. Baran, regional attorney for the EEOC’s St. Louis District Office. “This type of conduct is unlawful in every industry and workplace, whether it’s an office or a store or a railyard.”

The EEOC is seeking monetary relief for female employees affected by the harassment, an order prohibiting future sexual harassment, and other relief.

“BNSF only recently received notice that the complaint had been filed and is still in the process of reviewing the allegations contained within it,” BNSF spokesperson Amy Casas said in an email. “BNSF takes its obligations to provide a workplace that is free of sexual harassment very seriously. The company’s efforts in that regard include regular training and unequivocal conduct expectations for all employees, multiple avenues for employees to use to report inappropriate conduct, and prompt action to prevent, address, and remedy any alleged inappropriate conduct.”

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