Friday, July 16, 2004

EEOC sues Ko Olina
timeshare resort

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said yesterday it is suing a West Oahu timeshare resort on behalf of a woman who said she was fired after rejecting her supervisor's sexual advances.

In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Honolulu, former saleswoman Marnie McClain alleges that she was constantly harassed and solicited for sex by her project director at the Ko Olina Beach Club Resort beginning in March 2001 until she was fired in September of that year.

The Ko Olina Beach Club Resort in West Oahu is operated by Marriott Vacation Club International, a subsidiary of Marriott International, both of which are named as defendants in the lawsuit. The supervisor is not identified.

Beth Vairo, a spokeswoman for Marriott Vacation Club International in Orlando, Fla., said the lawsuit is being reviewed, adding that Marriott "stands on a very firm zero tolerance policy."

The lawsuit seeks back pay, lost wages and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

"It is disturbing to see someone who is proficient and productive at her work suffer dire consequences for objecting to sexual harassment," William Tamayo, an attorney with the EEOC's San Francisco District Office, said in a statement.

The commission said McClain, who is in her 40s and a single mother of two, was a sales trainee when the alleged harassment occurred. Fearful of losing her job, she did not confront the supervisor and instead turned down his advances and gave excuses to avoid meeting outside of work, the EEOC said.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Marriott Vacation Club International

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