A discrimination and retaliation lawsuit has been filed against the furniture chain Raymour & Flanigan by former employee Shirley Fausey. Fausey, who worked with the company since 2005 as a home furnishing consultant, claims that she was fired in December 2014 after voicing complaints about inappropriate comments from a co-worker and enduring harassment from management.
Fausey, originally from Japan, states that the co-worker began making inappropriate comments to her and other co-workers in early 2013. Roughly a year later, Fausey took two months off from work under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
When she returned to work after about two months in summer 2014, she says, she was harassed by supervisors who were upset that sales numbers decreased while she was away, and the co-worker’s discriminatory comments continued.
After twice complaining to management about the work environment, she said she met with a store manager in late November and asked what was being done about the co-worker’s behavior. She claims she was told that it was not a priority and there was no need to address the issue as the man was likely to retire soon. (Matthew Bultman, Brian Baresch, Law360.com)
Fausey, stating that she would speak to Human Resources about the issue, was terminated three days later due to what the company states were performance issues. Represented by attorney Noel E. Primos, Fausey alleges that the company violated the FMLA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by terminating her for retaliation and discrimination, not performance issues. Notices have been filed with the Delaware Department of Labor and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission along with the lawsuit.
Case number 15-cv-00375 (Shirley Fausey v. Raymours Furniture Co. Inc.), filed on May 11 2015, will be heard in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. Fausey is seeking back pay and reinstatement, front pay and punitive damages. The store manager and co-worker alleged to have made the harassing comments are not named as defendants in the suit.
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