Drugstore Chain Agrees to $240K Sexual Discrimination Settlement

May 29, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A New York-based drugstore chain has agreed to a $240,000 settlement of a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit over allegations a store manager subjected female workers to continuing sexual and pregnancy harassment.

AnEqual Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) news release said the pact was worked out with Duane Reade Inc, which operates more than 200 drugstores in the New York area.

According to the news release, Madiaw Diaw, manager of a Bronx store, committed a series of illegal acts against female workers including frequently making vulgar remarks about women’s private parts, sexually propositioning female employees, making lewd comments about their pregnancies and bodies, assigned unfavorable job duties to pregnant employees, and repeatedly grabbing female employees, including grabbing their buttocks.

Some complaining employees were later retaliated against with increased harassment, the agency said.

“Sexual harassment is a violation of federal law,” said Monique Roberts, in the announcement. “Employers have a duty to maintain a work environment that is free from sexual harassment and retaliation — it’s really that simple.”