Dollar General sued for sexual harrassment

Updated: Feb. 9, 2017 at 5:58 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A recently filed lawsuit claims Dollar General Stores, Inc., violated federal law when it subjected female employees to sexual harassment. The lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Wednesday.

According to the lawsuit, a female employee alleged her supervisor, a store manager at the Dollar General store in Red Banks, Miss., repeatedly made unwelcome comments and gestures, all of a sexual nature, toward her. He also sent her unwelcome text messages.

This employee was not the first employee to complain about the store manager's sexually harassing behavior.

After a 3-month-long investigation, the company suspended and then fired the store manager for "inappropriate conduct."

The EEOC seeks injunctive relief prohibiting Dollar General from subjecting its female employees to sexual harassment in the future, as well as compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the reporting employee.

"There is nothing ambiguous about the laws against sexual harassment. Managers may not subject their subordinates to such abuse in the workplace. Equally clear is the EEOC's continued commitment to its mission of enforcing Title VII's prohibition against sexual harassment, as well as other federal laws forbidding employment discrimination," Katharine W. Kores, district director of the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi, said.

According to its website, Dollar General is one of the country's fastest growing small-box discount retailers, with over 13,000 stores in 43 states.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. 

"Dollar General is committed to providing its employees with a work environment free from unlawful discrimination, including unlawful harassment.  The Company has not been served with the lawsuit and does not plan to comment on this pending litigation," Crystal Ghassemi, with the Dollar General Corporation, said.

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