San Antonio Employment Law Blog

Sexual harassment turns violent in Texas case

This news out of Texas may be frightening for those who worry about sexual harassment in the workplace. A Nov. 7 story reported that a man faced months of sexual harassment at work at a local Kroger, and when he reported it, he received a death threat from the person who had been harassing him. Your workplace has a responsibility to keep you safe from this kind of situation, which is why it’s vital to always report such behavior and take steps to get the help you need.

The 50-year-old man has now filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Houston stating that his coworker in the produce department, a 48-year-old man, had subjected him to pervasive and severe sexual harassment that he has had to deal with over the previous months. The 50-year-old man had transferred to the store in Rosenberg, Texas, in 2011 after working for the company at another location since 1981.

After he transferred to the store, he started facing sexual harassment, he claims. He reported that the coworker said he would rape him, intimidating him by telling him that he had raped men like him in jail. He reported the incident to the Kroger’s store management team, but his complaint alleges that the management took no action against the man. He allegedly reported the incident along with continued behavior to three different managers; the managers still did nothing. He reported that he was called a cry baby by other employees.

It wasn’t until 2012 when the coworker approached the 50-year-old man and held a knife to his neck. He threatened to kill him, he claims, and he reported the offense to three store managers. The 48-year-old coworker did plead guilty to the crime in a 2012 case separate from the current lawsuit, and he was sentenced to probation for two years along with resigning from the store.

Source: Houston Chronicle, “Kroger ‘severe sexual harassment’ turned violent, lawsuit claims” Carol Christian, Nov. 07, 2014

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