Wal-Mart sued by EEOC for sexual harassment | United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Defuniak Springs store management allowed male associate to abuse coworkers, federal agency charges

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Wal-Mart Stores East, LP violated federal law by allowing a male employee at its Defuniak Springs, Fla. Store to sexually harass at least three employees, the United States Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC ) charged in a complaint filed today.

According to the EEOC lawsuit, between at least July 2018 and the end of November 2018, at least three female employees were sexually harassed by a male colleague. The abusive conduct included repeated instances of sexual comments and inappropriate touching. After one of the women complained to management, Walmart failed to end the harassment and instead fired her four days later. The offending colleague continued to harass other employees, according to the EEOC.

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the North District of Florida (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Walmart, Inc., d / b / a Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, Civil Action # 3: 21-cv-01051-TKW-HTC) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement by through its conciliation process. The EEOC is asking for back pay and reinstatement of the dismissed employee, compensatory and punitive damages for all victims, and an injunction to remedy and prevent future sexual harassment in the workplace.

“This case is a reminder that employers must take complaints of sexual harassment seriously and not retaliate against employees who assert their legitimate rights,” said Bradley Anderson, district manager of the Birmingham district office of the EEOC. “Employees should be applauded for standing up for their rights, not punished. “

Marsha Rucker, regional attorney for the Birmingham District Office of the EEOC, said: “Retaliation against victims who complain of harassment is a violation of federal law. When employers punish victims instead of tackling the problem, the EEOC will hold them accountable. “

Walmart, founded in 1962 and based in Bentonville, Arkansas, owns and operates a chain of more than 11,000 largest grocery and retail stores in the world. Walmart is the world’s largest company by revenue and the world’s largest private employer.

EEOC’s Birmingham District includes Alabama, Mississippi (except 17 northern counties), and the Florida Panhandle.

The EEOC advances opportunities in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

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