A woman who worked at a U.S. Cellular store in Iowa filed a complaint to the Iowa Civil Right Commission, alleging systematic sexual harassment in the workplace. Lisa Blazek complained of continuous sexual harassment from male colleagues at the store at which she worked from 2007 to 2010. She says the behavior got worse when she brought it to management’s attention.
Blazek claims that other employees in the store would go through customers’ phones, looking for nude or sexual photos on them. Male coworkers would show the photos to her and ask her intrusive sexual questions; one even asked to see her breasts. Blazek eventually quit her job, saying the harassment became too much.
“If photos of that nature were found, they would show them throughout the store,” Blazek noted in her written complaint. “Many times I would be called over to look at something only to find it was a sexual picture on a customer’s phone.”
Lawyers representing U.S. Cellular have denied the allegations.
“It got to the point where I could no longer handle going to work,” says Blazek. “It affected me physically, mentally and emotionally. It took over every aspect of my life.”
Sexual harassment and other forms harassment are unacceptable in the workplace. Employees should be able to earn a leaving without fear of intimidation on a daily basis.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—California employment attorneys