A several occasions a loyal frequent female Giant Food shopper complained to managers in the store of being harassed by an employee. The employee would make comments that she felt were inappropriate which made her feel uncomfortable. Her attempts to avoid the harassment by avoiding the duty area of the employee was satisfying until one Thursday morning in March, 2014. The employee followed her around the store questing her actions of not speaking to him. As the female shopper continued to move away from him the employee became angry, began shouting, and waving his arms in anger; as he moved towards her. The female shopper made her way to the customer service station and complained to a customer service employee. Giant Food conducted an investigation and questioned all involved EXPECT the female shopper who complained of harassment. Those leading the investigation and decision makers were all males (Store Manager, District Manager, Human Resources administrator, and the Harasser).
At the conclusion of Giant's investigation, the female shopper was contacted by the investigating Human Resources administrator and told to continue shopping at the store. She was ensured by the administrator that she would not have any additional problems with the male employee and if she did; she was to contact him or the store manager.
The female shopper questioned the decision of the investigating Human Resources administrator. She wanted to know why wasn't reporting the harassing to two inside store managers enough? The Human Resources Administrator stated abruptly, “I didn't know about it and the store manager didn't know about it.” The female shopper, having a Master's degree in Human Resources Management responded by saying, “ You are wrong! It is not my obligation to look for the Store Manger. Suppose he wasn't in the store at the time. I did not know who you were until this investigation and it is not my obligation to run you down in the future. The only obligation I had was to report the incident to someone I felt safe or a manager; and I did just that. I reported the harassing to two in store managers, one I have known for several years and the other spoke to him about harassing me. I even reported the harassment to a customer service employee. If those individuals did not do their jobs by alerting the Store Manager, it is not my fault. Your investigation was bias. The investigation was led by men. You questioned the Giant employees that were involved and not me. You made your decision without questioning me. I was the person that complained and I should have been questioned as part of the investigation. You have shown favoritism! Being in HR you should know better! You are talking to some who has a Master's degree in Human Resource Management and knows the procedure. Giant Food is not women or customer Friendly.”
The Giant Food Human Resources administrator apologized asking, “Give us another chance”, said the female shopper. The female shopper has Stuart J. Synder, an Attorney in Baltimore, Maryland on the case. Under Code of Maryland, “Criminal Law, Title 3. Other Crimes Against the Person, Subtitle 8. Stalking and Harassment, 3-803. Harassment, Prohibited, (a) A person may not follow another in or a bout a public place or maliciously engage in a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the other: (1) with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other; (2) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other;” Penalty (c) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on a conviction is subject to: (1) for a first offense, imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both;”
How will Giant Food act in the best interest of this customer to pave the way for other female customers? Stay tune!