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Archive for Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lawrence woman files lawsuit against Lawrence Wal-Mart alleging sexual harassment

January 9, 2013

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A Lawrence woman filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart in federal court Wednesday, alleging sexual harassment and discrimination at a Lawrence store.

According to the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court, the woman alleges she was sexually harassed by several co-workers at the store, 3323 Iowa, and management did not take disciplinary action when notified of numerous incidents.

The alleged incidents occurred in 2011, and the woman resigned from the store in 2012.

The woman also filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in May. The commission has not issued a decision in the case, but because 180 days have passed since the complaint was filed, the commission issued "right to sue" notice, allowing the woman to file suit in federal court.

The Journal-World's attempts to reach a Wal-Mart representative have been unsuccessful.

Comments

shaunepec 1 year, 11 months ago

On the name issue, we made an editorial decision not to release the name, since the allegations were of a sexual nature. Many times in such lawsuit cases, we even post the pdf of the suit.

However, this particular suit mentions several people by name, accusing them of sexual misconduct, so we decided not to release that as well.

In many of the other suits, we have released names because they haven't necessarily dealt with such personal and sexual matters.

Hope that helps.

Shaun LJW

Steffie Sissoko 1 year, 11 months ago

This is U.S.District court not civil court, that is why the name was not released.

Dani Davey 1 year, 11 months ago

US District Court just means Federal Court. If it's brought by an individual, it's civil.

sleepy33 1 year, 11 months ago

If it's not criminal, it's civil. Civil suits can be brought by individuals, groups, corporations, state or federal government, etc.

patkindle 1 year, 11 months ago

yes, we need a name , so we can begin the personal attacks and discuss how bad walmart is... after all it is the lawrence way

Pete_Schweti 1 year, 11 months ago

Since when do we need any information to levy personal attacks on here?

asixbury 1 year, 11 months ago

I really hope justice is served. I know the details of this incident; these Walmart employees should be ashamed. I can't believe it took this long to get something going. My thoughts are with the victim.

asixbury 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't pray, so it was obviously a way of saying I'm thinking of her, that my kind thoughts of support are with her. But you already knew that; you're just being annoying.

happyrearviewmirror 1 year, 11 months ago

In an Orwellian world where ignorance is strength-- especially in backwoods places like Lawrence. I repeatedly emailed KU supervisors that I was facing street harassment, yet the enlightened HR Department there harshly retaliated by blaming the whole situation on me-- not very good people to work with.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 11 months ago

What is "street harassment"?

Is it possible that the HR Dept. didn't respond to your complaint because your e-mail didn't clearly explain the problem?

Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/

"Overview: Street harassment is any action or comment between strangers in public places that is disrespectful, unwelcome, threatening and/or harassing and is motivated by gender."

jhawkinsf 1 year, 11 months ago

Thank you for the explanation. I was unaware of it's meaning.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 11 months ago

I was going to ask that, but after having looked foolish in not knowing what "street harassment" was, I thought I'd best cut my losses. (I had assumed sexual harassment was the intended phrase but the writer failed to properly communicate that.)

jonas_opines 1 year, 11 months ago

Well hello, begin60. Why the new username?

Caz Snwot 1 year, 11 months ago

This kind of thing has been happening at Wal-marts all over the country... this is a company that receives government subsidies to build their billion dollar establishments in our city limits and shut down our mom and pop stores. They cost our local economies more than the revenue they create. it's time to topple the regime.

Caz Snwot 1 year, 11 months ago

the culture created within the company.

asixbury 1 year, 11 months ago

How about the culture experienced by the victim in our local Walmart; the practice of ignoring the sexual harassment issues brought up by employees.

asixbury 1 year, 11 months ago

In the business law class I took in the Master's program, we studied Walmart extensively as examples of legal suits brought on by employees. Walmart has the most suits and cases of sexual harassment and discrimination than any of the other major corporations. They usually lose, too.

livinginlawrence 1 year, 11 months ago

I could certainly be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure you're several years behind on your Wal-Mart commercials with the comment about the yellow smileys and falling prices (then again I don't own a TV).

Paul Wilson 1 year, 11 months ago

"We made an editorial decision not to release the name, since the allegations were of a sexual nature." Then why name the defendant genius? As usual...you're 'editorial decisions' are biased and ignorant. You actually named the one accused...in the headline none-the-less. ACCUSED genius. You violated your own 'sexual nature' policy. Who exactly did Wal-Mart harass Shaun...and how exactly did a corporate entity do this? Just another example of a Leftie journalist taking a cheap swipe at a corporation. Pathetic and unprofessional.

MarcoPogo 1 year, 11 months ago

"genius"..."you're editorial decisions".."none-the-less"..."genius"

asixbury 1 year, 11 months ago

The defendant is suing Walmart because of the way they handled (or in this case ignored) what happened to her. She is not going after individuals.

asixbury 1 year, 11 months ago

Yeah, that is why the lawyers agreed to take her case. She would never had filed suit if her supervisors at Walmart did their job. They laughed it off and totally dismissed her, and so did the people above them. Walmart deserves what they get.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 11 months ago

Should you find yourself called for jury duty and asked during voir dire if you've formed any opinions about this case, I hope you will tell them that despite having heard not even one word of testimony, you are of the opinion that Wal-Mart is in the wrong. You will be dismissed as a potential juror and Wal-Mart can then expect to be judged by a fair jury making an informed decision after having heard all the evidence.

asixbury 1 year, 11 months ago

I know the person that was harassed. I would tell that right away if called in for jury duty. There is overwhelming evidence of which I cannot mention specifics in support of her suit. This will be an easy case to win.

costello 1 year, 11 months ago

Asixbury stated above that s/he knows the details of the case. I'm assuming s/he will not be on the jury.

Peacemaker452 1 year, 11 months ago

I once heard that "voir dire" was French for "jury tampering".

jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

You really should serve on a jury sometime, it would be an eye opening experience for you.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 11 months ago

I've always thought it would be a great experience. A couple of times I was asked what I did for a living and when told I worked in social services, I was politely thanked by the prosecution and excused. More times I just went to the courthouse as required, only to sit for several hours and then excused. I've never served, but not for a lack of trying.

jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

Since you haven't worked in social services for quite a while, that might not be an impediment any more. Now you're a business owner, which sounds more conservative.

It's interesting, though, that they didn't want you on the jury because of that - your views are actually pretty pro law and order (they assumed you're a bleeding heart liberal). Did they use a peremptory challenge or could they get rid of you "for cause"?

I really wanted to be on a jury, and now, having been on one, I have little interest in repeating the experience - it's rather disappointing how little the reality lives up to the theory, in numerous ways.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 11 months ago

Well, Twelve Angry Men is one of my favorite movies. (The original, with Henry Fonda). I don't recall exactly what type of challenge was used. Just the prosecutor saying "thank you, you're excused". I assume the defense attorney does the same thing if it's a law enforcement officer, or the close relative of one.

I'll tell you a funny story from one of my adventures into the court's gallery. I was awaiting my turn when they began questioning a rather elderly Chinese woman. She brought her adult granddaughter to translate for her. It was clear she wanted no part of being on a jury and was claiming to not know English well enough to be a juror. The judge wasn't going to let her off that easy. He kept grilling her about how much English she knew, the granddaughter translating away. This went on for quite some time. What was ironic was that if the elderly woman or the granddaughter had known that they could simply have invoked a rule stating jurors over a certain age can simply be excused for that reason, they could have got off just like that. But neither of them knew of that rule and the judge wasn't inclined to inform her. Ultimately, she got off by convincing the judge her English wasn't good enough. Meanwhile, a gallery full of prospective jurors waited, along with attorneys, court reporters and of course, the judge. That was another time that I made it as far as the gallery, but was never called or asked any questions at all.

jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

It's a great movie.

Unfortunately, in the real world, it wouldn't work out that way.

MarcoPogo 1 year, 11 months ago

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olkate 1 year, 11 months ago

I think what the gentleman or gentlewoman Fretster used was not, in fact, name calling but merely a hostile tone. Interesting...."juvenile name calling"..."anonymous Lefty"...

Topple 1 year, 11 months ago

There are people who visit Wal-Mart that another person would want to sexually harass?

bad_dog 1 year, 11 months ago

This is about a former employee. Hints from the article above:

"The alleged incidents occurred in 2011, and the woman resigned from the store in 2012." "The woman also filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in May."

Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

asixbury 1 year, 11 months ago

My comment was for the comment that was disappeared; not you merrill.

asixbury 1 year, 11 months ago

How could you say such a disgraceful thing? You do not know what happened. I do, and it was horrible. I feel so bad for the victim.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

"A Lawrence woman filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart in federal court Wednesday, alleging sexual harassment and discrimination at a Lawrence store."

There is plenty of Wal-Mart history to back up this allegation. Not hard to find.

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