Roanoke, VA- A Kroger grocery store in Roanoke is facing costly litigation after a former cashier filed a lawsuit alleging the grocer failed to action against a coworker who repeatedly subjected her to sexual harassment.

In the lawsuit, filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleges that bagger, identified as Trevor Gammon, for made frequent lewd comments to the complainant and several other female employees.

According to the suit, the 16 year-old became the target of Gammon’s inappropriate behavior in September of 2012. He repeatedly insisted they work together during which time he made sexual comments which centered on his desire to have sex with her. In addition to repeated solicitations for sex, Gammon touched the complainant on her hips, buttocks and thighs, according to the Roanoke Times.

After her filing her EEOC complaint in October of 2012, the complainant was assigned undesirable tasks as punishment for speaking out. Then, in April of 2013, the young woman was fired without explanation.

She is seeking $2 million in damages for sexual harassment and retaliation.

If you are facing sexual harassment and are afraid to speak up, you may find it helpful to speak with a sexual harassment attorney. They will be able to advise you on the proper way to file a formal complaint so it won’t jeopardize your civil case if you choose to file one.

Sexual harassment is an issue for working women of any age, but teenagers are especially vulnerable. A recent study conducted by the University of Illinois found that teens working in low-wage jobs, typically retail and the restaurant industry, are frequently harassed by older co-workers and adult employees.

Researchers for the study surveyed 116 teens and discovered that 54 percent of female and 37 percent of male respondents said they had been sexually harassed in their workplace.

While the sexual harassment rates among female teens closely mirrors the rate of harassment experienced by adult females, the rate of sexual harassment for male teens is significantly higher than adult males. In 2010, only 16.7 percent of sexual harassment allegations were filed by men.

When asked why teens are lead researcher of the study explained that teens lack power and status in a workplace and thus make prime targets. They also may be unaware of their rights and reporting procedures and are often reluctant to report.

Teens who are subjected to a hostile work environment are negatively affected by their experience in both immediately and long-term. When teens face sexual harassment, it lead to low job satisfaction and inhibits skill development. In the long term, sexual harassment will affect the teen’s grades, lead to excessive tardiness and absenteeism. They also develop negative attitudes toward future employment.

Anyone facing sexual harassment, regardless of their gender or age, you should understand they don’t have to put up with it. They can take actions to protect themselves and others from sexual harassment. If you have suffered emotionally and financially, a sexual harassment attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.