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The EEOC's Lawsuit Charging a New Jersey Grocery Store With Harassment of Two Young Male Workers

As we have previously reported, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines "harassment" as a form of workplace violence.

By law, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for administering and enforcing several federal employment statutes including those barring harassment on the basis of gender and other grounds. In addition to investigating charges of employment discrimination, on occasion the EEOC's legal team will represent those who complain of employment discrimination as it did when two younger male employees of a New Jersey grocery store filed complaints of sexual harassment by a female subordinate.

Under a subsection of the EEOC's website entitled "Real EEOC Cases," the agency describes a then-pending lawsuit (as of June 11, 2024 when their website was visited) where a female Assistant Manager at a New Jersey-based grocery store was alleged to have made unwelcome sexual comments to a youthful male subordinate.

This unwanted conduct allegedly began shortly after the male employee began working at the establishment, and that a few months after she did she was promoted to Store Manager. The worker claimed that the harassment continued following her promotion, that she discussed her sexual desires and affairs with other male workers with him, and that she also rubbed her body suggstively against him and flashed her bra and breasts at him in the store. He alleged that he quit his job because of this unwanted behavior. Thereafter he filed a harassment complaint with the EEOC.

The EEOC reports that a second male employee who also filed a complaint with the agency about this same female superior contended that he experienced similar harassment. He alleged that the Store Manager called him "baby," told other workers that she was his girlfriend, and had flashed her bra at him. When this young man discovered that the first employee had quit because of the harassment, he argued with the Store Manager, who suspended him from his job.

The EEOC also states that the following day, the young man complained to the organization's District Manager and that the company fired him for "unprofessional conduct."

(Note: Please watch the following brief video enttiled "Child Workers, Bullying and Workplace Violence" presented by Kathleen M. Bonczyk, Esq.)

After investigating both complaints, the EEOC then filed a lawsuit against the store, contending that the two employees were sexually harassed in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender.

The EEOC's lawsuit also claims that the store illegally retaliated against the second former worker by punishing him for complaining about the harassment.


Were you aware that the EEOC, an agency of the United States Department of Labor, has embarked on efforts to communicate and protect younger workers from harassment, a form of workplace violence, and other abuse?

The Youth@Work website is just one part of the EEOC's Youth@Work program, which is described as "a national education and outreach campaign to promote equal employment opportunity for America's next generation of workers. In addition to this website, the Youth@Work program includes (1) free outreach events and (2) partnerships with industry, education, and human resource leaders."


The EEOC's dedicated Youth@Work website is available here:


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