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The Finish Line Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Federal Agency Charges Cool Springs Store’s General Manager Discriminated Against Young Female Employees, Including Teens

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Finish Line sports apparel store in Nashville violated federal law by subjecting a teen employee to sexual harassment, retaliation, and constructive discharge, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed Sept. 29, 2011.

The EEOC’s suit, Case No. 3:11-cv-00920, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, alleges that the general manager at The Finish Line in Cool Springs Galleria subjected a 16-year-old cashier to sexual harassment, culminating in statutory rape and her being forced to quit.  The EEOC further alleges the general manager subjected other female employees, three of whom were 18 or younger, to sexual harassment.  Further, the EEOC alleges the general manager retaliated against one employee who resisted his overtures by reducing her work schedule, resulting in her being forced out of her job.

The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a settlement through its conciliation process.  The lawsuit asks the court to grant, among other things, a permanent injunction enjoining the defendant from engaging in any further employment practice that permits or condones sexual harassment; and appropriate back wages, compensatory and punitive damages, and any other such relief the court deems necessary and proper.

“Young women, especially those in their first jobs, should be able to report to work without fear of sexual harassment or retaliation when they resist such conduct,” said Katharine W. Kores, director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which serves Tennessee, Arkansas and Northern Mississippi.  “The EEOC is committed to obtaining all appropriate remedies in this lawsuit for the young women who were subjected to egregious sexual misconduct and harassment, and forced to quit their jobs.”

According to company information, The Finish Line, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest mall-based retailers of athletic shoes, apparel and accessories.  The company operates more than 660 stores in 47 states.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at