WASHINGTON - January 17 - Wackenhut Puerto Rico
must pay an $80,000 settlement to former employee Catalina Lopez Vasquez in
a case that was brought by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) regarding sexual harassment and retaliation under Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of
1991. Wackenhut Puerto Rico is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Wackenhut
Corporation, which is owned by London-based security conglomerate Group 4
The court will enforce the five year settlement that includes the
creation of a Wackenhut anti-discrimination policy, a new anti-retaliation
policy, mandatory training on sexual discrimination and reporting for
Wackenhut's managers and supervisory personnel at its corporate
headquarters in Puerto Rico.
At least three other cases are currently pending in U.S. District Court
in which Wackenhut is named as a defendant, involving allegations of
various forms of discrimination or civil rights violations, including race
discrimination arising from the company's security work.
Wackenhut or its subsidiaries have been involved in extensive
discrimination litigation in U.S. District Court in addition to this case
and at least three others currently pending:
* Wackenhut discriminated against Lisa Lulaj on the basis of sex, and
awarded her damages according to a Detroit jury in April 2006;
of judgment has been stayed pending resolution of appeals.
* Judgment was entered against Wackenhut in March 2006 in a case
by Karen Franklin in Seattle, who alleged she suffered gender and race
discrimination, retaliation, and a hostile work environment.
* An African-American former Vice President and General Manager for the
National Capitol Region has sued Wackenhut for race discrimination in
* Two cases in Tennessee allege racial discrimination in hiring,
and advancement, and a racially hostile workplace at the U.S.
of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation.
For more information, visit http://www.EyeonWackenhut.com.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation's largest
officers union, has a national program to raise standards in the
industry. More than 55,000 private security officers and public safety
officials are members of SEIU, which has 1.8 million members overall.