In a word, trouble. The Second Circuit decided such a case just a couple of days ago. In EEOC v. KarenKim, Inc, a jury found KarenKim, a grocery store employing lots of female teenagers, guilty of creating a sexually hostile work environment, in large part due to the behavior of Allen Manwaring, a store manager. Manwaring made comments to employees such as “if I were your boyfriend I’d never let you out of the sheets” and “if I were ten years younger I would be on top of you.” He also made physical contact such as pressing his groin into employees’ buttocks and squeezing their hips. Several employees complained to other managers and to owner Karen Connors. The thing was, Connors was dating Manwaring. So she just swept all this conduct under the rug. Her denial was so great that when Manwaring stuck his tongue in an employee’s mouth, Connors believed his statement that he had accidentally fallen into her, tongue and all. (Really!) Needless to say, the jury was displeased (over a million in punitives for ten employees).
After the verdict the EEOC sought to force KarenKim to amend its harassment policies (which were basically non-existent) and also to terminate Manwaring (who was still dating Connors and working in the store post-trial). While the district court denied the EEOC’s requests in this regard, the Second Circuit found for the EEOC. It held courts have a duty to remediate Title VII violations, and ordering injunctive relief (i.e., telling the employer what to do going forward) is one way of doing that.