Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse Inc. has agreed to pay $1.7 million to settle a sexual harassment case brought by three employees in Longview, including one who said she was sexually assaulted in 2006. Under a three-year consent decree. Lowe’s also must:
Acting EEOC Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru, in a prepared statement, made it very clear that Lowe’s conduct was very bad:
Severe sex-based harassment of young workers was permitted to run rampant at one of the nation’s largest retailers. It is shocking that Lowe’s store managers actively engaged in and even encouraged such blatant unlawful conduct and then retaliated against the victims for objecting to it.
As you may know, Lowe’s is the nation’s second-largest home improvement retailer, trailing only Home Depot, with more than 1,675 stores in the U.S. and Canada. According to the three workers, their problems began within months after they started work when the store opened in November 2005. One, a 21-year-old woman, said she repeatedly was implicitly propositioned by the 44-year-old store manager and that he sexually assaulted her in his office after she was given a promotion. Two other male employees, both in their 20s at the time, said department heads called them gay although they are heterosexual and subjected them to graphic sexual references. All three said they were subjected to months of verbal abuse and a sexually hostile work environment before two of them were fired and the third resigned under pressure, all by September 2006.
Source: Associated Press
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