DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) - An Indiana civil rights agency says there is probable cause to believe a former employee of a Delphi grocery store was subjected to severe verbal sexual harassment by her supervisor.
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) Deputy Director Akie Haynes announced Tuesday that the agency has issued a finding on the harassment, which is alleged to have taken place at Wallmann's Quality Foods in Delphi, Ind.
An investigation originating from a June 5, 2012, sexual harassment complaint filed with the ICRC found the complainant was subjected to sexually explicit comments during her entire employment.
Witness testimony substantiates that the complaining party was subject to unwelcome comments from her male supervisor.
The complainant provided documents that showed an internal report had been made by her against the supervisor. However, ICRC says no action was taken to address the issue.
Wallmann's Quality Foods representatives admitted they do not have an anti-harassment policy in place, but they do have an "open door policy with its employees."
"Every company should have a formal policy addressing sexual harassment," Haynes said. "This policy ensures that these matters are handled in a timely, consistent, and appropriate manner."
In order to prevail, ICRC says the complainant must show (1) she experienced sexually offensive comments or actions in the workplace; (2) the comments or actions were severe or pervasive; (3) complainant made it known that the comments/actions were unwelcome, and; (4) respondent failed to take corrective action to address the hostile work environment.
The ICRC says a finding of probable cause does not resolve a civil rights complaint. Instead, it means the state has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the Indiana Civil Rights Law has been violated.
News 18 spoke with Wallmann's representatives Tuesday. Representatives say the store's management is aware of the issue, but they would not release a statement to us.
The Indiana Civil Rights Law provides remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer's policies and training.
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