Hat World to Pay $33,000 to Settle EEOC Retaliation Lawsuit

‘Lids’ Retailer Fired Store Manager Who Reported Sexual Harassment and Filed a Charge with the EEOC, Federal Agency Charged


Heidi Macomber reads a 2/11/20 EEOC bulletin where a Lids Retailer fired a store manager who reported sexual harassment and filed a charge with the EEOC. Hat World, Inc. d/b/a Lids, et al will pay for $33K to settle the lawsuit.

Today’s post is regarding a retailer of sports hats and fan gear who fired a store manager for filing a sexual harassment and retaliation charge against her district manager with the EEOC. Allegedly the Lids store manger sent written complaints to corporate HR for a year and a half before going to the EEOC and was fired shortly afterwards. Under a two year consent decree, the employer will pay $33,000 to settle the retaliation lawsuit in addition to adopting a written anti-discrimination policy, conduct annual training with employees and supervisors, post notices regarding the suit and report to the EEOC.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who engage in activity protected under Title VII, including complaining about alleged discrimination or filing EEOC charges. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division (EEOC v. Hat World, Inc. d/b/a Lids, et al., Civil Action No. 2:19-cv-00314-RBS-LRL) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

EEOC 2/11/2020 bulletin

Sexual Harassment Notes

Employer Coverage – 15 or more employees

Time Limits

§ 1604.11Sexual harassment.

(a) Harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of section 703 of title VII. 1 Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

(d) With respect to conduct between fellow employees, an employer is responsible for acts of sexual harassment in the workplace where the employer (or its agents or supervisory employees) knows or should have known of the conduct, unless it can show that it took immediate and appropriate corrective action.

(f) Prevention is the best tool for the elimination of sexual harassment. An employer should take all steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring, such as affirmatively raising the subject, expressing strong disapproval, developing appropriate sanctions, informing employees of their right to raise and how to raise the issue of harassment under title VII, and developing methods to sensitize all concerned.

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29 – Labor, 1604.11 – Sexual Harassment

Retaliation Notes

Employer Coverage:

  • 15 or more employees under Title VII and ADA
  • 20 or more employees under ADEA
  • Virtually all employers under EPA

Time Limits


EEOC bulletin 2/11/2020

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