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Sexual Harassment Charges Lead to $1.2 Million Payout

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Sheila Oyler and Julie Schemmel, two former employees of a Quality Inn and Suites in Peosta, Iowa, filed suit against the hotel and its owners for sexual harassment by a male co-worker.  The group that owned the hotel, Laxmee, Inc., and one of the individual owners, Vijay Patel, were ordered by a jury to pay the employees $1.2 million in damages.  Laxmee is to pay Oyler $630,000.00 and $500,000.00 to Schemmel.  Mr. Patel is also ordered to pay Oyler an additional $70,000.00.  Both employees will also receive some backpay.  Oyler, the former hotel manager, filed a civil rights complaint about the male co-worker's inappropriate behavior and sexual comments; she was thereafter fired by Mr. Patel, who was acting on information provided by that male employee who made the sexual comments.

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