Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Settled for 2.3 Million. Fry’s Electronics will pay $2.3 million to settle a lawsuit from the federal government — one of the largest of its kind — alleging that the retailer retaliated against a supervisor who reported a sexual harassment claim.
Ka Lam, a supervisor at the chain’s Renton, Wash., store was fired after alerting supervisors to inappropriate behavior toward one of his young employees, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In the suit, Fry Electronics worker America Rios complained that her manager was sexting her and inviting her to his house to drink. After Lam reported the harassment to Fry’s legal department, he was fired, allegedly for “declining performance.”
Unfortunately, Lam’s work had been consistently commended. This, of course, is the all-too-common situation—fired for performance but appraisals indicate above average or excellent performance. Any jury is going to look for “the real reason,” and what is there to choose from? Discrimination and retaliation.
Although sexual harassment is illegal according to both federal and Kentucky law, it is still the most common type of workplace harassment. Sexual harassment is illegal when it becomes so severe or persistent that it creates an abusive working environment. Sexual harassment can consist of either verbal or physical harassment. If your boss threatens termination or other negative action contingent upon sexual favors, that constituted sexual harassment. But you don’t have to accept it.
If you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you should contact an experienced Kentucky sexual harassment attorney. We are familiar with how the law is applied in the commonwealth, as well as what factors can contribute to the success of your case. We will work hard to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Kurt A. Scharfenberger