Former Lowe’s Employee Files Lawsuit For ‘Troubling Pattern’ Of Sexual Harassment At Work
A former employee who worked at a Lowe’s store in Vacaville, California, sued the home improvement company, claiming he suffered retaliation after reporting sexual harassment at work. The lawsuit was filed in Solano County Superior Court.
The complaint did not identify the employee by name because of the nature of the allegations. The sexual harassment occurred from March 2019 to mid-2020 and included sexually explicit comments and the circulation of sexual rumors among store employees. The assistant manager at the store also took photos of him while he was in the bathroom and shared those images with coworkers.
The employee faced constant, unwanted sexual advances, which the lawsuit described as a “troubling pattern” of harassment. The harassment continued even though the employee repeatedly told the assistant manager that the inappropriate comments and behavior “made him feel uncomfortable.”
The former worker who filed the lawsuit said the incidents affected him so much that he could no longer use a public restroom without fear of being photographed and humiliated. He said, “I was trapped between a paycheck I needed to survive during the pandemic and a workplace that traumatized me every day.”
Although the employee reported the unwanted behavior and pervasive culture of harassment at the store multiple times, Lowe’s human resources department allegedly ignored the complaints. When he complained to the store manager, he was warned to drop the issue; otherwise, he could be fired.
According to the lawsuit, Lowe’s management failed to take action to stop the sexual harassment. Instead, the employer retaliated against him.
The man went on paid leave but was threatened with termination if he did not return to work. When he came back, he was allegedly physically threatened by an employee to drop the complaint. His request to work at a different Lowe’s location was also denied, and his employment with the company ended that day.
The lawsuit is seeking damages for emotional distress, as well as lost wages and benefits. The complaint alleged a hostile work environment through sexual harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation and failure to prevent harassment in violation of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.
While women file the majority of sexual harassment claims, men account for nearly one in five workplace sexual harassment complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Employers often tend to take sexual harassment complaints filed by men less seriously than those filed by women. In addition, many harassment victims do not come forward because they are fearful of the repercussions.
If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, you may feel like there is nothing you can do to stop the behavior. However, employers have to take sexual harassment complaints seriously and investigate them.
McCormack Law Firm can help you hold your employer accountable for the harassment you faced. Contact us today to speak to an experienced San Francisco Bay Area employment law attorney.
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