GREENVILLE, Miss. (Legal Newsline) – The Canton, Mississippi, franchise of Save-A-Lot Grocery will pay a former employee $125,000 to settle sexual harassment allegations brought forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
A former manager of the store allegedly subjected a female employee to severe and pervasive sexual harassment, the EEOC alleges. This included lewd comments and repeated requests for sexual favors that escalated to physical harassment and sexual assault, the EEOC claims. When the employee went to the store owner, the employer failed to take action, the agency further stated.
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"This is our second lawsuit against Mississippi Save-A-Lot franchisees," EEOC Birmingham Regional Attorney C. Emanuel Smith said. "We are pleased that this company was able to promptly reach resolution of this lawsuit. Save-A-Lot franchisees should now have effective policies and training in place to prevent the type of conduct that led to this litigation."
The consent decree, in addition to monetary relief for the victim, mandates that the store institute measures to prevent discrimination and sexual harassment in the future.
"EEOC will continue to aggressively pursue remedies for victims of sexual harassment when companies fail in their duties under the law,” Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director for EEOC's Birmingham District, said. “All employees have a right to a work environment free of harassment based on sex."