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North Carolina woman alleges sexual harassment, discrimination

A woman in western North Carolina is suing her former employer, a grocery store chain, Ingles. She contends that she was sexually harassed on the job and was fired after she complained to the store manager.

The woman, 54, said she was the object of sexually suggestive comments and inappropriate gestures from the assistant store manager. She said the man told her more than once that he wanted to have sex with her and he also touched her shoulders, which the woman didn't want.

The woman started her job at the grocery store in 2015, beginning as a cashier and then moving up to customer service manager. Sometimes, the touching occurred while she was working at her cash register or in the employee office, the lawsuit states.

"(He) would come up behind plaintiff and would place the front of his pants on plaintiff's butt so that she could feel" his genitals, the lawsuit states.

When she mentioned the incidents to a supervisor, she was told it was nothing more than "the good-old-boy mentality," the filing says.

But according to the lawsuit, when she finally complained to the store manager about the harassment, she was fired. She is claiming gender discrimination, negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress and retaliation. Her lawsuit asks for more than $200,000 in damages.

Every employee in North Carolina -- male and female -- has a right to go to a workplace every day that is free of sexual harassment. In this case, both sides will be afforded the opportunity to tell their side of the story in court.

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