Store Manager Sexually Harassed Female Employees, Federal Agency Charged
HARRISON, Ark. - Dolgencorp, LLC, also known as Dollar General Corporation, a retailer of basic consumer goods headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tenn. has agreed to pay $27,500 and provide other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC charged that Dollar General allowed a store manager to sexually harass female employees and then failed to take the proper remedial action against the manager.
According to the EEOC's suit, the store manager in Dollar General's Bull Shoals, Ark. store began sexually harassing female employees shortly after his transfer to that store. The EEOC alleged the harassment included comments and requests for sexual favors. Although at least one employee called the corporate hotline and also complained to an assistant manager about the harassment, Dollar General failed to take action to stop the manager's conduct.
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Dolgencorp, LLC and Dollar General Corp. d/b/a Dollar General Store Bull Shoals Case No. 3:12-cv-03128) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Harrison Division after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process.
Besides the monetary relief, the 18-month consent decree agreed upon by the parties and approved by the court, requires Dollar General provide sexual harassment and retaliation training for store managers and assistant managers. Dollar General must report complaints of sexual harassment received within that district to the EEOC and require Bull Shoals' assistant managers to report any complaints of sexual harassment to members of upper management.
"The EEOC continues to take sexual harassment in the workplace very seriously," said Faye Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Tennessee, Arkansas and northern Mississippi. "We cannot stress more strongly an employer's legal obligation to ensure the workplace is free of sexual harassment. Part of this obligation includes promptly and effectively investigating all complaints of harassment and then taking proper action, when necessary, to correct such unlawful behavior."
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.