A Costco employee won a $250K sexual harassment suit after a year of being harassed by a frequent customer.

A Costco employee won a $250K sexual harassment suit after a year of being harassed by a frequent customer.

Phoenix, AZ- A Costco employee who was sexually harassed by a customer recently received a $250,000 settlement, the EEOC announced in December.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit on behalf of a former employee of a suburban Chicago Costco. The female employee helped customers box their purchases, so she worked directly with many patrons. In her lawsuit, she alleged that one male customer repeatedly subjected her to unwanted sexual comments, unwelcome touches and advances and stalking. Over the course of a year, the sexual harassment escalated to the point where the victim had to obtain a restraining order to keep her harasser away.

According to the EEOC press release, the victim told Costco management about the harassment and repeated contact with the accused. But despite filing a complaint with Costco, the harassment continued even after the employee obtained a restraining order. She alleges her employer took no effective action to stop the repeated harassment.

Costco argued that the victim was too sensitive to the harassment, but a jury disagreed and decided for the victim.

“Costco repeatedly refused to take simple steps to prevent known harassment by a person it could easily ban from its stores, or direct to shop at a different store,” Laura Feldman, EEOC Trial Attorney said in the press release.  Feldman added, “An employer should not wait until an employee is so fearful that she resorts to seeking a restraining order before intervening against a customer.”

Employers have an obligation to protect employees from a hostile work environment even if the harasser is a customer.

Employers have an obligation to protect employees from a hostile work environment even if the harasser is a customer.

Doing something about sexual harassment

Whether you were sexually harassed by a customer, client or a coworker in your Phoenix workplace, your employer has a duty to protect you against a hostile work environment. You employer is obligated to investigate your claims of sexual harassment and take remedial actions when appropriate. But many employers fail to take the adequate steps and don’t hold the harasser accountable. If you report harassment or discrimination to your employer and they take no action, you should contact the EEOC. Then USAttorneys recommends you speak with a sexual harassment lawyer near your Arizona location.

Many employees are afraid to report sexual harassment because of retaliation; a sexual harassment lawyer can help a victim avoid being punished for reporting harassment.

Many employees are afraid to report sexual harassment because of retaliation; a sexual harassment lawyer can help a victim avoid being punished for reporting harassment.

If you are afraid to come forward with a sexual harassment complaint, we recommend you get legal advice. Retaliation is not an unusual reaction, and an employer sometimes punishes the reporting employee by denying them promotions, days off or terminating them rather than punish the harasser. Unfortunately, that is the typical reaction, and an employee needs to protect them from being retaliated against or wrongfully terminated.

It can be difficult to get compensation for sexual harassment, so you need expert legal representation to work on your claim. Let one of our sexual harassment lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona to work on your case, so you can recover the compensation you deserve. You can protect yourself by retaining a lawyer to assist you with all aspects of your case. Call and set up a consultation to                                                                                                       learn what steps you must take to stop the harassment.