Three former employees of a Lowe’s store in Longview, Wash., have filed a lawsuit alleging their managers repeatedly sexually harassed and then fired them for complaining about it.
Jeremiah Harrington, Chester Davison and Amber Fasolino started working for the store when it opened in November 2005 and were forced out in 2006, their lawsuit alleges.
Davison and Harrington said department managers called them gay, though both are heterosexual, and made numerous graphic sexual references to them. When Davison complained to the store manager, he was told he and Harrington should not hang out together. When he complained, he said he was moved to the night shift, his hours were cut, and he was accused of poor job performance. He alleged he was forced to resign in July 2006.
Fasolino said the store manager at the time, who no longer works for Lowe’s, suggested she could advance in the company by engaging in sexual acts with him. She also alleged repeated verbal and physical sexual harassment by the manager. Fasolino filed a complaint with HR, but the situation did not improve. She was terminated in September 2006.
The lawsuit seeks lost wages, emotional pain and suffering and punitive damages.
Tip: Every harassment complaint requires a prompt investigation and response. Ignoring complaints just makes a bad situation worse.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Make sure post-firing documentation doesn't pile on extra reasons for termination
- Investigate harassment even if employee complains belatedly
- Curbing profanity in the workplace
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