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Workers Say Luxury Colorado Resort Allowed Sexual Harassment

DENVER — Mexican workers at a luxury condo association in Vail say a manager sexually harassed and threatened them for months before they finally mustered the courage to inform higher-ups at the timeshare in the wealthy ski resort town. But instead of addressing the problem, a leader at the resort company took no action against the manager, told the workers they could quit if they didn’t like it, and allowed the abuse to worsen, the workers said.

“The trauma of going to work and seeing him there, it was awful,” said one of the workers, Maribel Soto, through an interpreter. “He was actually giving us more and more work.”

Soto and Maria Luisa Baltazar Benitez spoke to reporters Tuesday after they and six other immigrant workers reached a $1 million settlement with Vail Run Resort and its management company stemming from the allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the 54-unit timeshare.

Representatives from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said the payout, which will be split among eight workers who brought the suit, was the largest sexual harassment settlement in Colorado history.

The case gives a glimpse into the kind of mistreatment commonly faced by immigrants living in the country illegally, especially those working in hospitality industry, where their plight often goes unnoticed, said attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai, whose firm assisted in the case.

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