Fred Meyer Settles Sex-Harassment Lawsuit
Portland, Ore. Fred Meyer Stores Inc. has settled a federal sex-harassment lawsuit for $485,000.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit against the Portland, Ore.-based grocery and retail chain owned by Kroger Co., with headquarters in Cincinnati.
The federal lawsuit said the store director and store-operations manager at a Fred Meyer outlet in Oregon City, Ore., repeatedly subjected women employees to graphic sexual discussions, unwanted touching and requests for sexual favors.
Attorneys for the commission said a human-resources manager witnessed the harassing conduct on several occasions.
But EEOC officials said the same manager failed to take appropriate action against the store director or operations manager.
In addition, the commission charged that the managers retaliated against the three female employees when they complained about the sexual harassment.
A Fred Meyer spokeswoman said the managers have been replaced, and the harassment was an isolated incident.
“This was a store director who completely violated and ignored every single bit of training we had ever given him,” said Melinda Merrill at the company’s Portland office, in an Associated Press report.
Costco sees slight 3Q comps growth
ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco Wholesale reported that net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 4% to $16.04 billion from $15.47 billion during the first quarter of fiscal 2008. On a comparable-warehouse basis, net sales increased 1%.
Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 was $262.5 million, or 60 cents per diluted share, compared to $262 million, or 59 cents per diluted share, during the first quarter of fiscal 2008.
According to Richard Galanti, Chief Financial Officer of Costco, “First quarter 2009 results benefited from very strong gasoline profitability when compared to last year. Results were hurt by a slowdown in non-food discretionary sales and related reductions in margins associated with these sales, primarily in the latter half of the quarter.”
Fred’s promotes Efird to CEO
MEMPHIS, Tenn. Fred’s has promoted president Bruce Efird to ceo effective Feb. 1, 2009. Efird, who will retain the title of president and remains a director of the company, will succeed Michael Hayes, who will continue as chairman of the board of directors.
Prior to joining Fred’s, Efird was evp of merchandising for Meijer. Prior to that, Efird held management positions with Bruno’s Supermarkets and Food Lion.