Babies 'R' Us Settles Same-Sex Harassment Case

November 15, 2002 ( - A former Babies "R" Us employee who claimed he was sexually harassed and once forcibly partially undressed has won a $205,000 lawsuit settlement, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said.

According to an Associated Press story, the EEOC reached the out-of-court agreement on behalf of Andres Vasquez with the Paramus, New Jersey-based Toys “R” Us, which owns Babies “R” Us.

The EEOC said Vasquez began working at a New Jersey Babies “R” Us store in February 2000, but quit seven months later, claiming he was the target of derogatory and unwelcome comments.

Spokesman Edward McCaffrey said other co-workers felt Vasquez did not meet stereotypes of how men should look or behave. “His mannerisms were viewed by his co-workers as not masculine enough,” McCaffrey told the Associated Press.

According to the EEOC, the company took no corrective action even when, at one point, Vasquez claimed co-workers forcibly stripped him of his pants and underpants. The EEOC ruled that Vasquez’ federal civil rights had been violated by being subject to a sexually hostile work environment and filed suit.

As part of the agreement submitted to US District Judge William Bassler, Babies “R” Us admitted no wrongdoing in the case, but will instruct all New Jersey workers annually about federal anti-discrimination laws, the AP reported.