Woman Alleges Sexual Harassment in Lawsuit Against Costco

Woman Alleges Sexual Harassment in Lawsuit Against Costco

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A woman has filed a lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corp., claiming a supervisor sexually harassed her.

In her lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Michele Houston claims she was the target of retaliation once she reported the alleged abuse. She's seeking unspecified damages.

Houston contends "intolerable" working conditions at Costco's South Ogden warehouse eventually forced her to quit her job of 18 months in June. She claims her supervisor in the deli department subjected her to persistent sexual harassment last April.

Once she complained, she claimed she was transferred to another part of the store. Eventually, she claims her hours were cut.

In November, Houston was issued a notice of right to sue by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In addition to sex discrimination and retaliation counts, Houston alleges Costco violated the Americans with Disabilities Act; at the time of the incidents, she was on medication to control seizures.

"We deny the claims, we did nothing wrong and we'll vigorously defend this claim in court," said Joel Benoliel, Costco's chief legal officer.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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