Sexual harassment is a pervasive issue in the workplace. California workers should know that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed filed a lawsuit against Dollar General Store, Inc., alleging the sexual harassment of a female employee. Dollar General is one of the nation’s fastest growing, small-box discount retailers, based on information on its website. It operates more than 13,000 stores in 43 states including California.
The alleged sexual harassment took place at a Dollar General store in Mississippi. The alleged harasser, the store manager and supervisor of the victim, repeatedly made unwanted sexual gestures and comments towards the female employee. The lawsuit also states that the manager sent the female employee unwelcome text messages. The female employee was not the first one to report the store manager for sexual harassment. After a three-month investigation, the company suspended and then terminated the store manager for exhibiting inappropriate behavior.
The EEOC is pursuing an injunction that will prohibit Dollar General from exposing its female employees to any future sexual harassment. The commission is also seeking compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the female employee who reported the behavior. According to a representative of the EEOC, the laws regarding sexual harassment are clear. Managers should not be allowed to subject their subordinates to such abusive behavior in the workplace. The representative also stated that the EEOC has an on-going mission to enforce the prohibition of workplace sexual harassment, under Title VII and other federal legislation.
Victims of workplace sexual harassment should consult an employment law attorney. The attorney may file a complaint with the appropriate federal or state agency if a client has received unwanted sexual advances or lewd comments or has been subjected to a hostile working environment in some other manner.