Desert Canyon Golf Club Fired Whistle-Blower in Sexual Harassment Case, EEOC Says in Federal Complaint

(UPDATE: Desert Canyon paid $25,000 to White in a 2012 settlement of the case, plus agreed to change its hiring practices.) A kitchen manager at Desert Canyon Golf Club in Fountain Hills was fired — twice — because he complained that female workers were being sexually harassed, says a federal complaint.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the suit (see below) yesterday, demanding that the club's parent company, Golf International, stop illegally retaliating against whistle-blowers and pay the fired worker for his troubles.

Jeffrey White worked in the club's eatery, the Steakhouse at Desert Canyon, from April to October 5 of 2009, when he filed a written complaint to his bosses that a cook was harassing women.

White apparently didn't know the club had a "don't-mess-with-our-eye-candy" rule.

Karl Boettcher, general manager of the club, told him the very next day that he was fired, the suit states.

White soon filed a complaint to the EEOC, claiming the company had retaliated against him in violation of federal whistle-blower laws. The next month, says the suit, the company offered White another job in return for dropping the compalint. White refused and wasn't hired.

In February of 2010, Boettcher hired White as kitchen manager — then fired him three weeks later. When the man applied at another restaurant, he was told that his references didn't check out, leading him to believe Desert Canyon had given him a bad review.

Boettcher told the Business Journal today that he hadn't heard about the lawsuit, and made no further comment.

It sounds like there's enough evidence for a hole-in-one.

Desert Canyon Lawuit

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern