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PRESS RELEASE
1-11-12

Family Dollar Stores of Virginia to Pay $45,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Richmond Store Manager Groped and Propositioned Female Employee, Federal Agency Charged

RICHMOND, Va. – Discount retailer Family Dollar Stores of Virginia, Inc. has agreed to pay $45,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

In its complaint filed on Sept. 29 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Family Dollar Stores of Virginia, Inc. Civ. No. 3:11cv647 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division), the EEOC charged that Chanele Brown was sexually harassed by her male store manager at the Family Dollar store where she worked in Richmond, Va. According to the complaint, Brown worked as a customer services representative for Family Dollar from Aug. 18 through Sept. 5, 2009. The complaint states that the harassment included the manager groping Brown and propositioning her for sex. The manager also allegedly reduced Brown’s work hours during one week and told her that in order to have the hours reinstated, Brown had to let the manager come to her home. Brown refused the manager’s request and resigned the next day.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

According to the consent decree entered today, Family Dollar agrees to provide each employee working in stores located in Dollar Stores’ District 184 copies of the company’s anti-discrimination policies and complaint procedures. The company must also provide training to managers and employees on the same. Family Dollar will also post a copy of its harassment policy in its stores within District 184 and will post a notice about the lawsuit in the store where Brown worked.

“Employers are reminded that it is not enough to have policies prohibiting sexual harassment in place, hidden away in a handbook somewhere,” said EEOC Charlotte regional attorney Lynette A. Barnes. “Employers must ensure that employees are adequately informed of these policies and of procedures for making complaints about sexual harassment.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.