A lawsuit has been filed against Dollar General Stores, the fast-growing discount retailer that has more than 13,000 store locations in 43 states including California. According to the lawsuit, which was filed by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the company violated federal law when it exposed its female employees to sexual harassment.
The lawsuit alleges that a female employee was subjected to sexual harassment by her supervisor, who was the store manager at a Mississippi Dollar General store and whose sexual behavior had been previously complained about by another employee. According to the lawsuit, the store manager allegedly made repeated and unwelcome gestures and comments of a sexual nature towards the woman. He also sent unwanted text messages. At the end of a three-month investigation, the store manager was suspended and then fired from the company for engaging in inappropriate conduct.
The EEOC is seeking an injunction prohibiting Dollar General from exposing its female employees to sexually offensive behavior in the future. The agency is also seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the female employee who reported the store manager. A representative of Dollar General stated that the company is committed to having a work environment that is free from illegal discrimination and harassment. The representative also stated that the company had yet to be served with the lawsuit and has no plans to make a comment on pending litigation.
Lewd comments and a hostile working environment can be very damaging to victims of these types of sexual harassment. When complaints to supervisors go unanswered or dismissed, the victims may want to meet with an employment law attorney to see what recourse they may have.