National retail chain Big Lots has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to BusinessInsurance.com. The EEOC filed the lawsuit in 2011 against a Big Lots retail store in Fort Smith, Arkansas after the male store manager there repeatedly sexually harassed multiple female employees.
According to the lawsuit, manager Robert Muntz began sexually harassing customer service specialist Lacey Deaton. Muntz would ask to see Deaton’s breasts repeatedly. Deaton reported the conduct the Big Lots’ corporate office—Muntz backed off temporarily, but then resumed the misconduct. According to the lawsuit, Muntz harassed other employees at the same store location in a similar manner. Muntz allegedly sent a photo of his genitals to a female employee.
Big Lots agreed to pay $155,000 to four female plaintiffs in addition to implementing procedures to provide sensitivity training to all employees.
The lawsuit states that “Big Lots failed to take appropriate remedial measures to protect a class of female employees from sexual harassment… (and) is strictly liable for the sexual harassment of a class of female employees because of Mr. Muntz’s status as store manager at defendant’s Fort Smith, Arkansas facility,” read the lawsuit.
Big Lots should have followed up with Deaton to ensure the harassment has stopped. If you have experienced any type of harassment in the workplace, contact our firm for a free consultation.
Kelsuk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys