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Is Your Employer Protecting You? It Should:

Costco learned the hard way (Or should we say the expensive, $250,000 way)

          Back in December, a federal jury ordered Costco Wholesale Corp. to pay a quarter of a million dollars to a former employee for failing to protect her from a costumer's sexual harassment in Chicago. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claimed that Costco did not do enough to protect its former employee, as Dawn Suppo was harassed over the course of a year. Her harasser, the customer, allegedly did everything from constantly asking her out on dates, to filming her and touching her without consent. Costco denied any wrongdoing, but the jury had none of it, and found Costco liable for failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the harassment.

I thought employers only had to protect me from co-workers, but now they are required to protect me from costumers too?

          Yes and No. Essentially, women (and men) have a right to a safe, secure, and fair workplace. If an employer isn't providing this in some way, then they can get in trouble for not providing it. Here, Costco could have easily prevented the harassment, either by banning the customer from their stores altogether, or simply banning him from that particular store. Either way, employers must make an effort to give this safe environment to their employees.

Did this case affect any protections I have in Pennsylvania or New Jersey?

          No. But that is not a bad thing. This case did not directly impact the law, because the law already protects employees in this way. However, this is a great example to both warn employers of their requirements in the workplace, and show employees what they can be protected from.

Wow that is a lot of money! Can I get this much from a sexual harassment claim?

          Every case is different. For example, our firm handled a sexual harassment claim that collected $900,000 for our client. (You can read more about it ­­­here.) However, please understand that because every case is different, the amounts the court can award will be different too.

What do I do if I think I have a sexual harassment claim?

          Feel free to contact us if you believe you have been the victim of sexual assault in the workplace. Our number is 215-545-8917. Do not delay, there are strict deadlines to take action.

Thank you,

David Koller

If you would like more information about this case, check out:

Koller Law, LLC
2043 Locust Street, Suite 1B
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Phone: 215-545-8917
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