Optical Chain Charged in Harassment Suit

July 13, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Nationwide optical chain LensCrafters has been accused of violating federal labor law by not properly responding to a sexual harassment complaint from a male employee at its Saginaw, Michigan, store about a female co-worker.

A news release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said its lawsuit charges that LensCrafters subjected a male lab technician, William Sheard, to a sexually hostile work environment through being repeatedly subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, comments, and touching. The co-worker repeatedly touched him, including his private parts; would make lewd sexual comments; would frequently proposition him for sex; and made sexual displays toward him, the agency said.

Sheard complained about this abusive conduct, but his concerns were ignored, the EEOC alleged.

“The EEOC is committed to protecting all employees, including men, from being subjected to a sexually hostile work environment,” explained EEOC attorney Nedra Campbell,, in the news release. “LensCrafters failed to take seriously the sexual harassment complaints of Mr. Sheard, apparently because he is a man. Federal law protects the civil rights of men as well as women.”