On Oct. 4, it was reported that a former retail employee of a Gucci store in Chicago filed a $10 million sexual harassment lawsuit. The plaintiff has claimed that the store manager sexually harassed her to the point where he exposed himself to her, but his behavior was ignored by higher-ups. The company also has a flagship store in San Francisco.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff worked as a salesperson for more than two years. She claimed that the assistant store manager regularly made sexually suggestive comments to her. The comments included remarks about her appearance and a sexually suggestive nickname that he began to use to refer to her while she was out on the sales floor. The former employee said that she reported the incidents to another supervisor but was told to just avoid working with the manager or brush him off. The assistant store manager then allegedly exposed himself to her while she was in the storeroom.
The former worker also said that her store did not have any human resources personnel. Shortly after the storeroom incident, she was given an unfavorable performance review. She eventually resigned in February 2016 before getting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission involved. The EEOC determined that there was “cause to believe” that she had been discriminated against due to her sex and, after attempting to resolve the matter informally, gave the plaintiff the right to sue.
When incidents of sexual harassment such as unwanted sexual advances occur, and the company ignores the complaints, a hostile work environment may be created. This can affect the worker’s performance or even result in the worker being wrongfully terminated. If there is evidence that the allegations of sexual harassment were ignored, an attorney may assist in initiating the action by filing a claim with the EEOC.
Source: WWD, “Ex-Gucci Employee Launches $10M Sexual Harassment Suit“, Kali Hays, Oct. 4, 2017