EEOC Sues Ore.-Based Fred Meyer Retail Chain

February 28, 2008

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against the Fred Meyer retail chain, alleging improper management practices at its Oregon City, Ore., store.

Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. is the parent of Fred Meyer.

The commission said Fred Meyer allowed top-level managers to sexually harass several female employees and then retaliated against the woman who first complained to her bosses.

Kroger officials were not immediately available for comment.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Oregon, alleges that senior-level managers subjected an employee and her female co-workers to “a constant barrage of sexually offensive and degrading comments.”

The commission also said Fred Meyer refused to take any meaningful action to stop the harassment.

“When you have senior-level managers engaged in sexual harassment, the tone is set in the workplace,” said William Tamayo, EEOC regional attorney in San Francisco. “An employer who fails to take notice of illegal behavior in its workplace is only inviting litigation.”

The commission is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, age or disability.


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