NASHVILLE (CN) – A harassing female customer brought sex toys into a Rent-A-Center and, instead of fixing the problem, store managers laughed and encouraged her, two former employees claim in court.
Romen Black and Jeremy Kimmons say they worked at a Murfreesboro, Tenn. Rent-A-Center facility until they quit in August 2014. The two men were sexually harassed by a regular female customer, according to a lawsuit they filed Monday against Rent-A-Center East Inc. in Federal Court.
“The sexual harassment by this female customer involved sexually offensive comments and sexual touching. This female customer brought offensive sex toys into the work environment and used them in an open and obvious manner to harass plaintiffs,” the complaint states.
Black and Kimmons claim they reported the woman’s behavior to a store manager but nothing changed.
“Defendant failed to take any corrective action and the harassment continued and, in fact, the managers laughed and encouraged the harasser and the offensive conduct,” their 4-page lawsuit states. “Management was notified again the female customer was harassing them at work and that they were uncomfortable, but the harasser still was not corrected.”
In addition to the female customer, Black and Kimmons say they were harassed by a male customer who made suggestive sexual comments and a female manager who “would also sexually harass the plaintiffs by sexual touching and comments that were observed by the general manager,” according to the complaint.
Neither customer nor managers are named in the lawsuit and they are not defendants. Black and Kimmons say they had to quit because of the uncomfortable work environment.
“Plaintiffs, due to the continuing harassing behavior and abusive treatment and increasingly hostile environment, despite their ongoing complaints, were forced to quit working for the defendant,” the lawsuit states.
Rent-A-Center spokesman Xavier Dominicis told Courthouse News that the company does not comment on pending litigation, but it does have a no-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and compliance hotlines.
Black and Kimmons seek $300,000 each plus attorney fees and legal costs. They are represented by Stephen Crofford of Parker & Crofford in Nashville.
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