For Immediate Release: August 30, 2013
Sexual Harassment Charge against St. Cloud Liquor Store Leads to $30,000 Settlement
The owner of a St. Cloud liquor store has agreed to pay a former employee and her attorneys $30,000 after the Department of Human Rights found probable cause to believe he had sexually harassed her. The Department also found that, after she complained about the harassment, store owner Brian Fanfulik engaged in reprisal by making her working conditions intolerable.
In her charge, the former employee of the Liquor Pig in St. Cloud alleged that the harassment started a week or two after she was hired on September 27, 2011, and continued for the almost seven months she worked at the store. Fanfulik's alleged behavior included requests that she agree to have sex with him, unwanted physical contact, unwelcome sexual comments, and gestures evocative of sexual acts.
After she complained about the harassment, Fanfulik accused her of taking inappropriately long breaks, which he referred to as "stealing," and ultimately fired her, according to the charge.
In answering the charge, Fanfulik criticized the former employee's work performance, and contended that she had quit her job voluntarily. However, the Department's investigation concluded that her working conditions were so intolerable that she had been "constructively discharged." (A constructive discharge can occur when working conditions are so intolerable as to amount to a firing, despite a lack of a formal termination notice.)
In addition to paying $18,000 to the charging party and $12,000 to her attorneys, the respondent has agreed to provide training for the store's managers on the Minnesota Human Rights Act's provisions related to unfair discrimination in employment. Liquor Pig, in signing the settlement agreement, denies discriminating against the changing party and denies violating Minnesota law.
Contact: Jeff Holman at 651.539.1090 or Jeff.firstname.lastname@example.org
Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Communications Department Freeman Building, 625 Robert Street North, Saint Paul, MN 55155
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