CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) — The
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Dec. 22 that a federal
jury has awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages to a former employee of Costco
Wholesale Inc. The employee allegedly had been harassed and stalked by a
refused to take simple steps to prevent known harassment by a person it could
easily ban from its stores or direct to shop at a different store," said
Laura Feldman, EEOC's trial attorney.
According to the EEOC, Costco
failed to take action to prevent a male customer from harassing and stalking
one of its employees. The customer purportedly stalked the employee at the
company’s Glenview, Illinois, store for more than a year. The EEOC said the
harassment included unwelcome touches and advances. The commission also argued that
Costco knew about the harassment but took no action, which created a hostile
work environment for the employee.
reinforces EEOC's commitment to protecting every woman's right to a safe,
secure, and fair workplace," said Julianne Bowman, district director of
EEOC's Chicago District, which includes Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and most of Illinois.
"It sends a clear message to employers
that they cannot sit idly by when their employees are harassed in the
workplace." said regional attorney for the Chicago District Office John
Hendrickson. "This case is an important reminder that employers have
a duty to protect its employees from harassment by customers. "