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Foodtown Supermarket to Pay $285,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Workers  Were Unlawfully Harassed by Supervisor, Federal Agency Charged

NEW YORK - 82-10 Baxter  Ave. Food Corp., doing business as Foodtown, will pay $285,000 and furnish  other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal  Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to EEOC's  lawsuit, a department manager of the Elmhurst, N.Y., supermarket physically and  verbally sexually harassed two female workers under his supervision at the  facility, then fired them because they resisted his advances. The harassment  included comments about their appearance, propositions for sex, forced  kissing, and other unwanted touching. The EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. 82-10 Baxter  Ave. Food Corp. d/b/a Foodtown (a/k/a Foodtown of Baxter Avenue) (E.D.N.Y. Case  No. 18-cv-05100) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on  Sept. 30, 2018, after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement through  its conciliation process.

The three-year consent  decree resolving the case provides that, in addition to paying $285,000, the  company will adopt new policies and procedures to prevent and report sexual  harassment and will train its managers and staff on identifying and preventing  sexual harassment and retaliation. The policies and staff training will be  available in Spanish. The decree also requires that the company investigate any  complaints of sexual harassment it receives and provide copies of its  investigations to the EEOC. The EEOC will monitor the company's compliance with  these obligations and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for the next  three years.

"Employers should take  seriously their responsibility to prevent sexual harassment of their  employees," said EEOC New York Regional Attorney Jeffrey Burstein.  "If they don't, the EEOC will take action, including litigation when necessary.  Many employees, especially low-wage and immigrant  workers, fear reporting sexual harassment. It took great courage for  these women to come forward and participate in this case."

EEOC New York District Director Kevin  Berry added, "The conduct at issue in this case was egregious. We are glad the company agreed to adopt policies and  provide crucial training that will educate its workforce."

The New York District Office of the  EEOC is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative  enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in New York, northern New  Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and  Maine.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the  workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More  information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC  news by subscribing to our email updates.