Fry's Electronics is being sued for sexual harassment of a young female employee and retaliation for actions it took against her supervisor after he spoke out on her behalf. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of America Rios. According to published documents an assistant manager began to sexually harass sales associate America Rios who was under 21 years old at the time. Rios repeatedly refused his advances but the harasser continually sent her sexually charged text messages with invitations to his house and offers of alcohol.
Rios reported the sexual harassment to her immediate supervisor, Ka Lam. Lam immediately spoke to upper management about the sexual harassment and was told to focus on his job and that some changes might be happening. A very short time after Lam reported the sexual harassment he was fired for poor performance, even though the EEOC found that he had never received a bad review and had consistently been promoted during his four years with the company.
“This was my first job,” said Rios. “I was overwhelmed, uncomfortable, stressed out, and I didn’t know what to do. I tried to let it go, but I felt violated and didn’t know how to pretend that nothing happened.”
“I worked hard for this company, and tried to do what was right by standing up for Ms. Rios,” said Lam. “Firing me for speaking out was wrong.”