• Costco Ordered to pay $250K in Customer Harassment Suit
  • February 10, 2017
  • Law Firm: Breazeale Sachse Wilson L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office
  • A federal district court jury in Illinois has ruled that Costco Wholesale, Inc. must pay $250,000 in damages to a former female employee who was sexually harassed by a male customer for more than a year. The EEOC sued Costco for failing to stop the harassment of Dawn Suppo, an employee at the Glenview, Illinois warehouse store. Suppo complained about a customer's unwelcome touching and stalking, but Costco did not take effective steps to address the harassment. The jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois unanimously found Costco in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act after a seven-day trial. The EEOC said the customer told store managers about his contacts with Suppo, and they did not act to stop it which resulted in Suppo obtaining a restraining order against the customer. Under Title VII, employers can be held liable for third-party harassment of employees if they are aware of the conduct and do not take steps to stop the harassment.