The Indianapolis-based company Finish Line found itself caught in the middle of a lawsuit in late January after three former employees came forward, citing that their then 38-year-old boss had subjected them to severe sexual harassment in 2009.
According to the lawsuit filed in a Tennessee district court, all three women-between the ages of 16 and 18 at the time of the incident-all described different forms of sexual harassment while they worked for Finish Line under the supervision of their 38-year-old manager. During their time working there, all the girls claim to have been subjected to unwanted touching and one of the girls was even retaliated against when she told her manager to stop; her hours greatly reduced forcing her and one other girl to leave because it was "unbearable."
Although the manager was let go after one of the former female employees told police that the manager had engaged in sexual intercourse with her while she was 16 years old, the company still insists that something could have been done sooner had the girls come forward. The three girls and their lawyers disagree, pointing out that they were constantly subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation for months before the statutory rape charges were placed against the manager.
After deliberating on the case, a jury agreed with the plaintiffs and awarded the victims $30,000 in compensatory damages. In addition, the jury also awarded the female workers back pay.
Even though this event occurred in a different state, it's a good reminder for Indiana residents who may find themselves in similar situations. It's important to know that the EEOC and employment law attorneys are there to help protect your rights and help you seek compensation when those rights are being violated.
The EEOC, "Jury Rules for EEOC in Sexual Harassment Case Against the Finish Line," Press Release, Feb. 1, 2013
The Tennessean, "3 women seek sexual harassment damages from Finish Line," Amanda Gambill, Jan. 29, 2013