Warehouse Manager Harassed Female Employees, Then Fired Them When They Complained, Agency Says
SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – Spectrum Bags, Inc., a California-based manufacturer of grocery bags, restaurant carry-out bags and retail-store shopping bags, violated federal law by subjecting female employees to a sexually hostile work environment at its Southaven warehouse and firing those who complained about it, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a discrimination lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 2:10-cv-00168, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Delta Division), a warehouse manager sexually harassed at least four female workers by subjecting them to unwelcome sexual touching and sexual remarks. The EEOC says the manager terminated at least two of the female workers who complained about the harassment.
The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The lawsuit asks the court to issue an injunction prohibiting this discrimination in the future, and to order Spectrum Bags, Inc. to pay the employees lost pay, compensatory damages for emotional and psychological harm, and punitive damages.
“It is important for workers to be able to perform their jobs without being subjected to sexual harassment and to be able to speak out about harassment without retaliation,” said Katharine Kores, director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and 17 counties in Mississippi. “Employees should not have to endure a hostile work environment just to earn a paycheck.”
Spectrum Bags, Inc., a manufacturer of grocery bags, restaurant carry-out bags and retail-store shopping bags, offers a wide range of packaging options. It operates many facilities across the country including a warehouse in Southaven, Mississippi. Spectrum Bags, Inc. is a national company, headquartered in Cerritos, California, near Los Angeles.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.