Fred Meyer has been sued recently by three former employees that claim the supermarket chain was guilty of sexual harassment. The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission will represent the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit.
The supermarket's employees claim a customer in the store repeatedly groped them while they worked. Furthermore, the employees allege that store managers failed to discuss the matter with the victims and told them to continue serving the customer.
While a representative for Fred Meyer did not offer a comment regarding the lawsuit, she did confirm that the store's policy allows store managers to tell a customer to leave for harassing staff.
EEOC lawyer BIll Tamayo points to the customer's criminal past as a major red flag.
"He was convicted in December of 2009 of criminal charges that were filed by our charging party … and the harassing customer was convicted on two counts of sexual abuse in the 3rd degree," Tamayo explained.
While the customer might be found guilty of the charges, the company is allegedly guilty of unfair employment practices. The case highlights the importance of companies following effective and legal processes, lest they find themselves engaged in a legal battle regarding professional liability.