U.S. EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has sued Walmart, alleging the managers at the DeFuniak Springs,FL branch acted with malice and failed to take action to halt the continuous sexual harassment of three female employees.
The article published in Northwest Florida Daily News stated that Walmart had fired one of the female employees for filing a formal complaint against the male employee responsible for the harassment.
It further claimed that Walmart had violated federal law and its company policies with unlawful employee termination.
The Director of the EEOC Birmingham District Office has said that the Walmart case reminds employers to consider sexual harassment complaints seriously instead of retaliating against employees for stating their lawful rights.
According to the lawsuit, the terminated female employee had commenced work in April 2018. She filed the first sexual harassment complaint in September 2018 to a manager who was obligated to report such cases under Walmart policies.
However, the manager did not take any action. Moreover, Walmart failed to investigate the complaint while the harassment of three female employees continued.
Although the victim informed higher management and the human resource department, filing a written statement on September 27 about harassment, she was terminated 4 days after filing the complaint.
Subsequently, the male employee accused of sexual harassment was terminated in November 2021 after the store manager was confronted by the husband of the female employee for not taking any action regarding the harassment.
A spokesman at Walmart stated the company does not tolerate discrimination, harassment or retaliation, and all complaints were taken seriously. Hence, Walmart will respond accordingly to the court.
According to the lawsuit, the EEOC’s efforts to reach a settlement in the case and offer an opportunity for Walmart to rectify its discriminatory practices has failed.
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