Male on Male Sex Harassment Yields $451,000 for Worker

A federal jury  awarded a male ironworker $451,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  According to an EEOC press release, the jury awarded plaintiff Kerry Woods damages against Boh Bros. Construction Co., L.L.C., a major construction firm, after only a two-and-half-day trial, including $250,000 in punitive damages and $200,000 for emotional distress.  View the Woods v. Boh Bros. Construction Co. verdict by Clicking Here.

According to the EEOC, a superintendent “harassed and taunted Woods, who worked for the company as an ironworker, by engaging in verbal abuse and taunting gestures of a sexual nature, and by exposing himself.”  The EEOC presented evidence at trial that Woods’s supervisor “harassed him because he thought he was feminine and did not conform to the supervisor’s gender stereotypes of a typical ‘rough ironworker.’”

The EEOC’s lawsuit further claimed that the company retaliated against Woods after he reported the superintendent’s harassment. Woods was transferred to another location, where he was paid less, and then “laid off,” supposedly because there was less work available at the new location.

“All workers, male and female, are entitled to earn a living free from harassment based on sex or sex stereotypes,” said EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez on the EEOC press release. “The jury’s verdict signals to employers the importance of having robust sexual harassment policies and training in place, including in predominantly male workplaces.”