- Walmart will pay $410,000 to settle a sex harassment suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to a press release.
- The agency claimed a male employee spoke rudely about the bodies of female workers, made graphic sexual advances and engaged in unwanted touching.
- When one woman complained about her coworker's behavior, management told her to "'stand up' for herself and put her 'big girl panties on,'" EEOC said.
It's not uncommon that harassment lawsuits contain claims that managers or HR workers ignored complaints of misconduct.
EEOC sued an Arkansas Pei Wei in late 2019, claiming it failed to investigate complaints of sexual harassment. Months later, a Wayfair worker alleged her complaints of misconduct were overlooked by supervisors and HR. More recently, EEOC sued Menards with charges that a manager ignored sexual harassment complaints.
Managers' poor handling of complaints may stem from a lack of preparation. Supervisors need more training to properly deal with harassment, bias, discrimination, bullying and other workplace issues, according to a 2019 study by pelotonRPM.
Employers can improve the complaint process by prompting workers to report misconduct, sources say. By instituting and maintaining a robust and anonymous reporting system, employers may encourage workers to come forward.