Bay Area Whole Foods Cashier’s Sexual Harassment Suit
Julianna Casteneda was a cashier for Whole Foods, a major grocery store chain owned by Amazon. Her job included scanning items, product knowledge, upholding company culture, and enduring unwanted sexual advances. According to her lawsuit against the retail chain, she was the recipient of unwelcome comments, touches, suggestions, and even sent home when her clothing wasn’t revealing enough.
She also reportedly went to management with her complaints. It can be difficult and scary to report sexual harassment when the perpetrator is your supervisor. It can be devastating when your complaints are ignored. Her lawsuit claims she went to management several times. After her final complaint, she was suspended and then fired.
This is every victim of workplace harassment's worst nightmare. That, when finding the courage to report the unwanted actions, the victim is punished instead of protected.
In Juliana’s case, the actions she says happened are clear examples of sexual harassment. They included:
But sometimes workplace harassment may not be so cut and dry. It may include any comment, touch, or action that is unwanted and makes the recipient feel uncomfortable. Murky waters, indeed. If a person is unsure if they are being harassed, it can make reporting the problem feel trapped and unhappy.
Working in an environment which is uncomfortable and unsafe can lead to weight gain or loss, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and more. Those, in turn, can affect work performance, which could ultimately result in the victim being reprimanded or, at worst, fired.
We see this in Julianna’s case. She sought out legal representation and advice after the fact, but if you are the victim of sexual harassment, or unsure if what you’re experiencing is harassment, then talking to a lawyer can be a significant first step. Other things you can do include keeping a precise record of what is being said and done, including details of where and what time.
Contact a lawyer specializing in workplace harassment, like Tanya Gomerman if you’re unsure, scared, or need legal consultations for what steps you should be taking. Call 415-545-8608 for a FREE consultation today!