Costco Wholesale is the second largest retailer in the world and a Fortune 500 company known to consumers across the Northeast. Now, workers in two separate New Jersey Costco locations have filed lawsuits alleging rampant sexual harassment that went unpunished by the company. Civil lawsuits filed separately in Middlesex and Monmouth County alleged that managers sexually harassed female employees and, although the behavior was reported, it continued and that the employees later faced retaliation.
Discrimination and harassment in employment are unlawful under the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, yet major corporations are increasingly being called to account for continued workplace sexual harassment, now brought to light during the #MeToo movement.
Prohibited Workplace Behaviors
Despite legal protections, the employees in the New Jersey cases alleged widespread failings by Costco to adequately protect employees and prohibit sexual harassment. Managers and supervisors at both New Jersey locations are named in the lawsuits.
In one case, the lawsuit detailed a female employee who experienced stalking and unwanted sexual advances from a manager during work. The manager allegedly openly leered at her during work and repeatedly requested her phone number. The employee reported the harassment and the manager was moved to a different department, but the harassment continued. Two other employees later reported unwanted sexual behavior by the same manager.
In the other case, filed in December 2018, a female employee claimed that a manager had been harassing her since 2013 with comments of a sexual nature on her physical appearance. The employee reported the incidents to management and filed a union grievance. Later, the employee stated that she experienced a reduction in work hours as a result of the complaint. Another employee reported unwanted advances, including receiving nude photos from a manager she once dated, but with whom she had ended the relationship. That employee stated that in reprisal, she was later denied her disability claim.
Sexual harassment is a violation of the law if it creates a hostile work environment, or an adverse outcome including retaliation, such as a demotion, firing, or denial of benefits. If an employee experienced illegal workplace discrimination or harassment, filing a formal charge under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination is the first step before filing a lawsuit against an employer. There are time limitations and other important requirements to this legal process, so it is highly recommended to work with a skilled Cherry Hill employment lawyer with knowledge of this area of law.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment
If you suffered sexual harassment in the workplace, the Cherry Hill employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can help. We will fight to obtain the justice you deserve. Please contact us online for a free consultation or call us at 215-569-1999. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.