Dollar General Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit for $70,000

Dolgencorp, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the retail chain Dollar General Corporation, will pay the amount of $70,000 as well as other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit that was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the EEOC lawsuit, the store manager at the Red Banks, Mississippi location subjected a female sales associate to unwanted sexual laced comments, text messages, and gestures. Although other female sales associates had previously complained about the same manager, the harassment continued. According to a press release from the EEOC, Dollar General continued to employ the manager for several months after the sales associate’s initial complaint.

This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in February 2017 (EEOC v Dolencorp, LLC. d/b/a Dollar General Stores Inc., Case No. 3:17-cv-00023-MPM-RP) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi at Oxford after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree approved by Judge Michael P Mills:

  • enjoins Dollar General’s store in the district of Red Banks store from unlawful harassment in the future
  • requires mandatory sexual harassment training, with civility and bystander intervention training, to all employees, including the district manager, store manager, and assistant store manager.
  • requires annual training for the store manager, district manager, regional directors and human resources managers within the district of the Red Banks store
  • requires Dollar General to notify the EEOC of future sexual harassment complaints
  • requires annual reporting to the EEOC during the decree’s 18-month term , to include reporting of future sexual harassment complaints and training.

“While the recent #Me Too movement has shone a light on the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace, the EEOC has long remained on the front lines litigating these types of cases on behalf of victims, including vulnerable women in low-wage industries such as the retail, warehousing and food services industries in the South,” said Regional Attorney Faye Williams of EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which serves Tennessee, Arkansas and Northern Mississippi. “The EEOC will continue to bring these lawsuits. Employers who allow their supervisors or managers to subject their employees to sexually harassing behavior can expect that serious repercussions will follow.”

EEOC Trial Attorney Markeisha Savage added, “As we have said time and time again, having an anti-harassment policy that looks good on paper does not satisfy federal prohibitions against sexual harassment in the workplace. In fact, in this day and age, one would expect a corporation as large as Dollar General to already have such a firm policy in place and seriously enforce. In addition to having an anti-harassing policy is tantamount to having no policy at all.”

Dollar General is headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tennessee and represents one of the largest discount retailers in the United States. According to company information, it operates over 14,600 stores in 44 states and plans to open 900 new stores in the fiscal year of 2018. Dollar General employs approximately 129,000 people.

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