The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing a Michigan home improvement chain for allegedly allowing an assistant manager to sexually harass female employees for a year without being disciplined.
The sexual harassment lawsuit alleges that a female employee at the store showed the hardware department manager a pornographic text message sent to her by the assistant manager. She told the manager that she did not feel comfortable working with the assistant manager.
The department manager allegedly failed to cause an investigation and instead told the assistant manager "not to dip his pen in company ink."
Almost a year later, another female employee allegedly reported that the same assistant manager had sent her a pornographic message. According to the allegations in the lawsuit, the department manager again did not investigate or cause an investigation after she reported the sexual harassment to him.
The assistant manager continued to sexually harass female employees by sending them pornographic messages and touching them inappropriately, the EEOC alleges.
A third complaint was made directly to human resources around a year and a half after the first sexual harassment complaint. At this point, the employer investigated the assistant manager, who admitted to sexually harassing the women. The employer terminated him.
The EEOC is suing the employer for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "EEOC Sues Menard, Inc. for Sexual Harassment" eeoc.gov (May 20, 2020).