Sexual Assault and Harassment Lawsuit Settled by Aaron Rents
December 22, 2009
A sexual harassment lawsuit settlement that our California Employment Lawyers have been following was announced yesterday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)--where a young female worker was allegedly subjected to assault and sexual harassment by a store manager, while working for Aaron Rents, Inc.
According the lawsuit, Ashley Alford, a female service representative for Aaron Rents, the operator of more than 1,500 "rent-to-own" stores in Canada and the United States, was subjected to a sexually hostile work environment--where the general manager made sexually explicit comments towards her with regular requests for sex. The EEOC's complaint accused the manager of touching Alford's body in a sexually offensive manner, and exposing himself to her on several occasions. The EEOC also alleged that the manager made repeated attempts to force Alford to have sex with him, until his attempts culminated in a sexual assault in the store's warehouse area in Illinois.
Alford allegedly complained to her direct supervisor, and called a company hotline, but no action was taken to end the continual workplace harassment. According to the EEOC, Alford was the only woman working in the store for most of the time she was employed. She was twenty years old at the time of the attack.
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, under which this lawsuit was filed, it is illegal to discriminate against employees based on sex. It is also unlawful to retaliate against employees who complain about illegal treatment. According to the EEOC, no employee should have to face sexual harassment as part of their employment.
The EEOC's proposed consent decree will provide significant remedial relief, which includes sexual harassment manager training for managers in the St. Louis Region, the mandatory reporting of any complaints in the region, and improving the company's discrimination hotline. Alford's private lawsuit has not been settled, and she will proceed with her lawsuit without the EEOC's involvement.
Howard Law, PC represents employees who have been sexually harassed and are seeking recovery. Our team of experienced California Labor & Employment Attorneys are committed to aggressively representing you and protecting your employment rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Aaron Rents Settles EEOC Sex Harassment Suit, EEOC Press Release, December 21, 2009
Aaron Rents Settles Harassment Suit, St. Louis Business Journal, December 21, 2009
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