A former employee of a Chicago Gucci store is suing the fashion giant for a hostile work environment, quid pro quo sexual harassment, and negligent supervision. The plaintiff alleges that during the two years she was employed as a salesperson at Gucci, she was subjected to her manager’s inappropriate comments and sexual advances. The woman began working in the Illinois retail store in 2014. She says the store manager began harassing her shortly after, starting with inappropriate comments about her body. According to the lawsuit, the store manager began groping, grabbing, and attempting to kiss the plaintiff. He also allegedly exposed himself to her in the storeroom.
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
The plaintiff further alleges that her boss told her that if she had responded to his overtures, she might have received a better score on her performance review. When a manager offers or implies that that an employee who offers sexual favors will be rewarded in some way, such as with a promotion or raise, that is quid pro quo harassment. Quid pro quo also refers to cases where a manager offers to overlook poor performance or refrain from firing an employee who performs sexual favors.
The plaintiff alleges the sexual harassment continued for more than two years and only stopped when she was transferred to a Gucci store in Florida. After the plaintiff complained to her immediate supervisor, she says she was told to ignore the store manager’s offensive behavior, or to simply avoid working with him. Furthermore, the plaintiff alleges that attempts to contact Gucci’s Human Resources executives were denied.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Investigates
The plaintiff eventually resigned from her position as manager of the Gucci store in Coral Gables, Florida, in 2016. A month later, she approached the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with her complaints. The EEOC investigated her case and found there was proper cause to believe her claims of gender discrimination. After their attempt to negotiate with Gucci had failed, the plaintiff was granted a right to sue the company. The case is currently ongoing.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Every employer has the authority to discipline employees who violate Title VII. Employers who are aware of sexual harassment in the workplace and fail to address it are essentially condoning it. They can be held legally responsible for damages caused by discrimination they allow to continue, as in the Gucci case.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Protect Victims of Gender Discrimination
Even though we have come so far as a nation to reduce employment discrimination, it still exists in workplaces across the country. The only way to change these attitudes and behaviors is to fight the employers who allow it to continue. Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. focus entirely on employment law and are equipped to advise clients on all their legal options. Call today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.