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Home Depot beats harassment, retaliation charges

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources

A federal judge in Alabama has dismissed most of the sexual harassment and retaliation charges filed by two former employees against The Home Depot Inc. David Corbitt and Alexander Raya, both long-term employees of the Atlanta-based retailer who rose to store manager positions, alleged that regional HR Manager Leonard Cavaluzzi sexually harassed them in 2005.

The men claimed Cavaluzzi made sexual comments, phone calls and physical contact, such as rubbing their shoulders. They claimed they were fired for complaining.

Chief U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade ruled in Home Depot’s favor on charges of a hostile work environment, retaliation, assault and battery, outrage and invasion of privacy. Granade ruled that the former managers failed to show that Cavaluzzi’s alleged behavior was sufficiently severe to affect their performance.

However, she let stand a claim that the company failed to properly train and supervise Cavaluzzi. While company decision-makers were unaware of Raya’s and Corbitt’s complaints, “actual knowledge is not necessary for an employer to be liable for negligent supervision, training or hiring,” she wrote.

Home Depot said the men were fired for giving unauthorized discounts and using a Home Depot cell phone for personal calls. “We look forward to addressing the remaining allegations in the appropriate legal forum,” said Ron DeFeo, a Home Depot spokesman.

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