Two young men began working as Assistant Managers at a New Jersey grocery store in 1999. Both males filed job discrimination complaints with the EEOC after they stopped working at the store.
The first male claims that a female Assistant Manager made unwelcome sexual comments to him shortly after he started working at the store. The female was promoted to Store Manager a few months later. The young man claims that the harassment continued and that the Store Manager talked to him about her sexual desires and her affairs with other male workers. He also states that she rubbed her body suggestively against his and flashed her bra and breasts at him in the store. The young man quit because of the female manager's behavior.
The second employee claims that he experienced similar harassment. He contends that the Store Manager called him "baby," told other workers that she was his girlfriend, and flashed her bra at him. When this young man discovered that the first employee had quit because of the harassment, he argued with the Store Manager, who suspended him. The young man complained the next day to the District Manager. However, the company fired him for "unprofessional conduct."
After investigating both complaints, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against the store, claiming that the two men were sexually harassed in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender. The EEOC's lawsuit also claims that the store illegally punished the second employee for complaining about the harassment. The lawsuit is still in court. If it is not resolved through a settlement, the EEOC will present its case to a jury, which will determine whether the company should be held responsible for the female manager's behavior.
Did you know that...
- If an employer punishes you for complaining about job discrimination or harassment, you have a right to file a job discrimination complaint with the EEOC?
- Both males and females are protected from sexual harassment?