Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Jury decides in favor of EEOC claim; awards woman

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was established to safeguard the rights of employees and applicants no matter the type of employment and situation. The federal agency can bring a complaint against an employer for any allegation that a worker's rights to be protected from discrimination were violated. Any worker in California who believes he or she has been a victim of discrimination can contact the agency and an EEOC claim can be filed.

Recently, a jury decided in favor of the commission after it filed a lawsuit against Costco. The complaint was filed on behalf of a female worker who had purportedly been harassed by a customer. The woman went to her manager about the situation, and according to the complaint, nothing was done. The customer allegedly harassed the woman by engaging in unwanted physical contact and other uninvited attention.

The female worker eventually resorted to seeking a police order to keep the male customer from following her. The harassment reportedly continued for about a year. The customer even allegedly admitted that he had engaged in the behavior. The trial lasted for a little more than a week and culminated in a jury deciding that the management was negligent in protecting the worker. 

The woman was awarded approximately $250,000 for damages she suffered. The case highlights the need for employers to protect workers even from discrimination from patrons. California employees have the same rights to be safeguarded from harassment of all types, be it from co-workers, management or customers. Any worker who feels that he or she has been a victim of discrimination can consult with an attorney for help with filing an EEOC claim.

Source:, "EEOC: Yes, you have to protect employees from this too", Christian Schappel, Jan. 6, 2017

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