Posted On: December 30, 2008

Sexual Harassment Case Against Auto Zone Settles For $150,000

Auto parts retailer AutoZone agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Illinois lawyers following the case will notice an upward trend in settlement amounts in these types of cases.

The EEOC had charged that an AutoZone store in Starke, Fla., subjected women to unwanted sexual language and fired one woman for complaining about it--which amounted to retaliation. In Illinois, retaliation is defined by the Human Rights Act.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, a new manager at the store introduced himself on his first day of work using a crude and explicit sexual boast and the vulgar comments continued from there. The manager allegedly commented often on employees' breast size, shared details of his sex life and bragged that a customer offered him sex with his daughter in exchange for a certain auto part.

A female manager, along with other female employees, complained repeatedly to the store manager, but he did nothing to stop it and after a period of time the company finally looked into the situation and fired the female manager who complained after she was interviewed by human resources.

Under the terms of the settlement, AutoZone will pay $150,000, to be divided by the two discrimination victims. As an additional term of the settlement the company will distribute its policy addressing sex discrimination and retaliation to all employees and train employees on sex harassment and comply with other measures