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Florida Nordstrom employees win harassment settlement

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

High-end retailer Nordstrom has settled an EEOC lawsuit alleging it allowed harassment of Hispanic and black employees at its Palm Beach Gardens and Wellington stores.

The EEOC charged that a department manager said she “hated Hispanics” and that they were “lazy” and “ignorant.” In addition, Hispanic tailors claimed the manager harassed them for speaking in Spanish.

Hispanics apparently weren’t the only targets of the manager’s prejudice and ire. She also allegedly said she didn’t like blacks and told one employee, “You’re black, you stink.”

The employees said they complained, but the department store didn’t stop the harassment.

Under the terms of the settlement, 10 former employees will share in the $292,000 settlement.

Nordstrom will make sure all employees have a copy of its anti-discrimination policy, provide harassment training and post a notice explaining the lawsuit and the settlement. It will also regularly report back to the EEOC on its progress.

Final note:
Having an anti-harassment policy isn’t enough. You must enforce it and act quickly when you get complaints. Investigate every complaint and fix the problem as soon as possible. Provide several avenues for employee complaints. If you have a significant population of employees with poor English language skills, provide a way for them to come forward in their native or preferred language.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynnzie Woodard April 6, 2017 at 2:56 pm

I worked for Notstrom in 2011 and I was hired to work in the cosmetic department as a beauty advisor at the Laura Mercier counter under this counter manager named Mindy Waite. Soon enough, she was intimidated by my top sales success that made her look bad as the counter manager and that’s when the harassment begun. She was also a gossip queen, found out she took medication(s) and because of her seniority with the company, convinced management that I shouldn’t work at her counter anymore bc of her lies she created to try to bring me down. She was extremely jealous and two faced. Eventually, I got depressed, starting loosing the passion for my job, dreading going to work, even though I reported to management about her and how poorly she treated me, they made it out like I was the problem instead and not her. They favored her. After the constant harassment and zero support from management in resolving the issues by switching her from the department, they just took me down to a different position and eventually my attendance had become so poor (either late too much or call outs bc of the pain and suffering, depression from this harassment at work with this Mindy Waite who also turned others against me), I got fired bc of my poor attendance but still had great job/sales performance when I did go to work because I was still professional and was and always have been an ACE at my job.

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Lynnzie Woodard April 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm

P.s. I am not Spanish or black; but, I do have “brown” skin color, as I am half Native American of the Navajo tribe. The woman, Mindy Waite, who harassed me and deliberately discriminated against me was a white woman. So, read between the lines on that as well.

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