For more information please call  800.727.2766


Costco Must Pay For Customer Harassment

A federal jury in Illinois found that Costco failed to adequately protect an employee from a customer who sexually harassed her on the job.

Dawn Suppo was a part-time employee working as a front-end assistant. She helped customers box their purchases and return items to the shelves. Over the course of a year, a male customer repeatedly asked her on dates, hugged and touched her without her consent, filmed her at the store, and kept harassing her. Ms. Suppo alleged that she complained to Costco about the man but that they failed to take sufficient action to stop him. In fact, Ms. Suppo ultimately obtained a restraining order to protect herself from the man.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit on Ms. Suppo’s behalf. At trial, the EEOC asserted that Costco failed to take appropriate remedial action to correct the harassment after notified by Ms. Suppo. The customer’s conduct created a sexually offensive and hostile work environment in violation of Title VII. Costco argued that Ms. Suppo was unreasonably sensitive to the harassment and failed to take advantage of the corrective actions offered by it. The jury unanimously found for the EEOC and awarded Ms. Suppo $250,000 in compensatory damages. No punitive damages were awarded.