Duane Reade, the drug store giant, has recently settled allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation at a Bronx store. The lawsuit, which was brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claimed that the stores manager frequently harassed and abused workers. This manager would make vulgar comments about female employees bodies, harass them about their pregnancies and touch his employees inappropriately. When the workers had complained about such treatment, they were subjected to more of the same behavior, forcing them to endure a worsening work environment.
The settlement, which paid out over $240,000 to the employees affected, also called for changes in the sexual harassment policy of the store. Representatives for the company said that they would institute a new, mandatory education policy to protect workers from this illegal behavior. But many are concerned that a new policy is not nearly enough, and that Duane Reade stores should take much greater care in the hiring of employees.
No one should be forced to work in an environment where they are uncomfortable and harassed, least of all one in which workers are retaliated against for bringing claims to light.