Travel agency says it won’t close after lawsuit against owner
A travel agency that has been under investigation for sexual misconduct for years will close after a lawsuit from a former employee alleges it violated state and federal law.
The Minneapolis-based Grand Travel Agency said it has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis claiming it failed to follow all its policies and conduct due diligence.
The lawsuit claims the travel agency failed to disclose a lack of adequate training on handling complaints of sexual misconduct and harassment.
The case is still being litigated, the company said in a statement.
The complaint alleges that Grand Travel’s owner, a former Grand Travel employee, did not report complaints of abuse and sexual misconduct to state and local authorities, did a poor job of vetting employees and ignored the recommendations of an outside sexual assault investigation.
The investigation by the Minnesota Department of Human Services found that Grand had a history of sexually harassing employees and not disclosing sexual misconduct.
The company has since filed for bankruptcy protection and has been closed.
The Associated Press previously reported that Grand closed in June.
Grand said in the statement that it has taken the allegations seriously and has already begun reviewing its business practices.
The agency is not a sex offender registry, according to its website.
The owner and the employee who filed the complaint are both former employees of Grand Travel, according a statement from the company.
Grand Travel is the latest business to fall victim to sexual harassment allegations that have sparked an investigation by Minnesota lawmakers.
A group of lawmakers led by Rep. Michelle Ruggles filed a bill this month that would require employers to report allegations of sexual harassment and assault and would also require companies to disclose how they are working to address the problem.
The bill passed the House and is pending in the Senate.
Minnesota’s Republican governor, Mark Dayton, has pledged to make the issue of sexual violence and harassment a priority for his administration.
“We want to make sure we are not only going after the perpetrators, but also the victims of these crimes,” Dayton said at a news conference on Monday.