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  • Fry’s Electronics Pays $2 Million In Sexual Harassment Case

    Fry’s Electronics, the San Jose-based retail electronics giant, recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit in which it was accused of retaliating against a supervisor who reported possible instances of sexual harassment at a Washington store.

    Ka Lam was a supervisor at a Fry’s store in Renton, Washington in 2007 when an employee complained of offensive, sexually-charged conduct directed towards her by an associate manager.  America Rios, who was then a 20-year-old sales associate at the Renton store, told Lam that an assistant manager had sent her offensive, sexually suggestive text messages that asked her to join him for drinks at his house.

    After being subjected to that conduct for some time, and overcome with stress and unsure what to do, Rios finally told Lam what she was going through.  Lam reported the inappropriate behavior, but was later terminated by Fry’s for a supposed decline in performance; Lam had received positive work reports in the past.  The assistant store manager who allegedly harassed Rios was not let go, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC.

    The EEOC, the government agency responsible for monitoring, preventing and punishing discrimination in the workplace, stepped in after Lam was fired.  After attempts to reach a voluntary settlement were unsuccessful, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Fry’s in federal court in Washington.

    The matter was finally resolved last week, as Fry’s agreed to pay Rios and Lam $2.3 million while at the same time maintaining it did not discriminate, retaliate or engage in any harassment.  In a statement, the company asserted that it chose to settle the case rather than continue fighting the lawsuit in court and incurring additional costs.  Fry’s further maintains that it investigates all instances of workplace misconduct thoroughly and takes corrective steps when necessary.

    As part of the settlement, the EEOC obtained a pledge from Fry’s that the company will take steps to prevent harassment and retaliation at its stores in the future.  14,000 employees work in dozens of Fry’s stores across the country.

    If you feel you have been the target of offensive, demeaning or abusive conduct at work, contact a sexual harassment lawyer from San Bernardino right away.  A sexual harassment lawyer in San Bernardino can study the facts of your case and recommend a course of action designed to achieve the best possible outcome for you.  Your sexual harassment lawyer from San Bernardino can help you navigate what could be a long and stressful legal process and achieve a fair result.  If you believe you have been harassed by someone you work with, call a sexual harassment lawyer from San Bernardino today for a legal evaluation of your case.