ATLANTA — The federal government has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two female Georgia Piggly Wiggly workers who allegedly endured lewd sexual comments and advances from a male coworker and were then fired for reporting the matter.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit, Piggly Wiggly violated federal law by allegedly subjecting the female employees to a sexually hostile work environment. In addition, the EEOC says the company retaliated against the female employees for filing complaints regarding the harassment, with one employee's hours being cut and eventually firing both employees.
"Sexual harassment can only be stopped when employees stand up against it and when employers take action to stop it," EEOC Atlanta District Office director Bernice Williams-Kimbrough said in a statement.
"Employers must show they take complaints of sexual harassment seriously, rather than punish those who report it. Failing to discipline harassers and firing those who report harassment shows blatant disregard for the law," added EEOC regional attorney Antonette Sewell.
The EEOC seeks back pay, front pay, compensatory and punitive damages for the female employees as well as injunctive relief to prevent future harassment and retaliation.