Lowe's Home Improvement Companies Ex-employee sues, calls Lowe's unsafe: From failing to pay overtime wages to fraudulent marketing... Mooresville , North Carolina
Lowe's From Knowmore.org: http://www.knowmore.org/wiki/index.php?title=Lowe'sCorporate Statistics
Lowe's 1000 Lowes Boulevard Mooresville NC USA28177704-758-1000http://www.lowes.com/Type: Public NYSE: LOWLowe's does home improvement, but the company's business practices may be most in need of improvement. From failing to pay overtime wages to fraudulent marketing, Lowe's has exercised low standards of social responsibility. Nearly 75,000 employees hit the company with a lawsuit claiming unpaid overtime, and consumers have sued Lowe's over an interest-free credit promotion scam. Lowe's is also the target of a campaign to increase non-toxic lawn care options at major retail stores.Bottom line: Join the national effort to get Lowe's to carry non-toxic products and urge the company to reconsider its employee treatment. About Lowe's Based in Mooresville North Carolina, Lowe's runs more than 1,250 superstores in 49 US states. The company sells everything home improvement professionals or do-it-yourself people need- from gardening products to home fashion items, lumber to plumbing and electric supplies, tools and appliances. In FY 2006, the company reported sales of more than $43.243 billion and employed 185,000 people. Complaints, Abuses, and Scandals Toxics The National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns is asking Home Depot and Lowes to carry a range of non-toxic, poison-free lawn and garden products. Home Depot and Lowe's are the largest hardware chains in America, and nearly all lawn care products available at their stores are toxic to animals as well as people. The campaign calls on consumers to pressure Home Depot and Lowe's to carry more environmentally sound options. www.beyondpesticides.org/pesticidefreelawns/ Fair Employment In September of 2005 a federal judge certified a class-action lawsuit against Lowes for failing to pay workers due overtime wages. The case could represent as many as 75,000 current and former Lowes employees who allege that the company used a number of tactics to avoid paying full overtime compensation. -- Associated Press, 09/26/2005 Source URL: none available
Ex-employee sues, calls Lowe's unsafe: Suit suggests response to complaint might have prevented sexual assault
By Laura Mc Vicker The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.Publication: The Columbian (Washington)Date: Sunday, July 4 2010
July 04--A former cashier of an Orchards-area Lowe's Home Improvement store is suing the company, alleging it didn't protect her when her supervisor sexually assaulted her in a bathroom stall two years ago.
In the sexual harassment lawsuit filed in Clark County Superior Court, Elyse Moreton, 22, is seeking unspecified damages against defendants Lowes HIW Inc., and former supervisor Brandon B. Riggan. The case is scheduled for trial Oct. 25.
Moreton was working at Lowe's, 11413 N.E. 76th St., on July 23, 2008, when, court records say, Riggan followed her into the ladies' restroom and started kissing, groping and sexually assaulting her. This came after weeks of repeated unwanted sexual advances at work, the suit claims.
Riggan, 30, of Vancouver, who was terminated after the incident, pleaded guilty to attempted indecent liberties with forcible compulsion in connection with the assault. He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson on April 14, 2009, to four years' prison.
The suit claims Lowe's management took no action before the assault, when Moreton had reported the sexual harassment to another head cashier. As a result of the assault, the suit alleges, she suffered damages in the nature of lost wages and benefits; past and future medical expenses; and pain, suffering and mental anguish.
To me, the justice is for them to own up to it, Moreton said last week during an interview at attorney Michael Beaty's office in downtown Vancouver. How bad does it have to get until they're made aware?
The Columbian generally doesn't identify victims of sexual assaults, but is identifying Moreton because she is the plaintiff in the civil case and went public with her comments.
When reached by telephone, Thomas Lemly, a Seattle attorney for Lowe's, declined comment because of the ongoing civil litigation, saying only: The main issues were in the criminal case, and the principal players are not employed at Lowe's anymore.
According to police reports that led to Riggan's arrest and conviction, the situation started two weeks before the sexual assault when Moreton was given the task of training Riggan, who had just been hired as a head cashier. When they first met, Riggan told her he was married but was open to having a mistress.
At this point and during several more advances, Moreton told him she wasn't interested. But no matter what I'd say to him, it would never register, she said Friday.
After more lewd comments, Moreton reported the situation to a female head cashier on July 22, 2008. The head cashier acknowledged Riggan's comments were inappropriate but never reported the situation to superiors, the suit and Moreton claim.
The next afternoon, Moreton came back from her lunch break and encountered Riggan, who was off-duty and said he was there to talk to a co-worker. Instead, he hung around Moreton and followed her around the store, according to police documents.
She went to the ladies' restroom and was in a stall when she heard a man's voice say: Is anybody in there? She called out that she was inside, believing it was the janitor.
That's when Riggan entered her unlocked bathroom stall, sexually assaulted and then threatened her if she reported the incident, according to court documents filed in the criminal case.
Moreton alerted a manager and called her parents. Her parents encouraged her to call 911. Sheriff's deputies responded and took a statement from Moreton. Deputies arrested Riggan that night at his home without incident, according to police reports.
Moreton hasn't worked at Lowe's since the 2008 incident. A worker's compensation claim filed by Beaty covered her wages and doctor visits through January 2009.
Moreton said she's still receiving psychiatric treatment and hopes money obtained in the lawsuit will help cover the future costs. Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, Moreton said, she lost 20 pounds in the weeks after the incident because of anxiety, and still has trouble sleeping and keeping food down.
More than that, she hopes the lawsuit sends a message to other employers and employees.
Someone once asked me, 'Why are you mad at Lowe's for something Brandon did?' she said. I'm mad at Lowe's because they didn't provide a safe environment.
I like to think I can be a voice of those who may not think they're strong enough to speak up for themselves, she added.
This isn't the first sexual harassment claim in Southwest Washington against the home-improvement warehouse chain. In August 2009, three former employees of a Longview Lowe's store won a $1.7 million lawsuit against the company for a claim of ongoing sexual harassment by managers and one case of alleged sexual assault, according to the U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission.
Laura McVicker: 360-735-4516 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal Disputes Sunset Valley and the Save Our Springs (SOS) Alliance filed a lawsuit against the city of Austin, Texas and Lowes for violating rules governing development in the Barton Springs watershed. The original agreement between the city and Lowes required the company to devote $1 million to preservation efforts and to install water-quality controls. Barton Springs watershed development regulations allow only between 15 and 20 percent solid cover of the land in question, however the city of Austin allowed Lowes to plan for 40 percent occupancy. SOS expressed concerns over the future health of the watershed as a result of such development. -- Austin Business Journal, 03/04/2005 Source URL: none available Consumers filed a class-action lawsuit against Lowes and Home Depot for misleading consumers with interest-free credit promotions. The companies were alleged to have cheated customers by applying store credit payments to interest-free balances following major promotions, leaving customers interest-accruing balances untouched. -- KOMO News, 11/25/2003 Source URL: none available Executive Compensation In 2005, Robert A. Niblock, CEO of Lowes Companies Inc, made $9.3 million in total compensation including stock option grants. From previous years, Niblock cashed out $1.74 million in stock option exercises. Additionally, Lowes CEO has another $11.1 million in unexercised stock options from previous years. -- AFL-CIO, 04/05/2006 Source URL: www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/paywatch/ceou/database.cfm?tkr=LOW&pg=1 Products In November 2001 Lowe's and Home Depot were called upon to stop selling arsenic-treated lumber to the public because of the wood's cancer-causing capabilities. According to the Healthy Building Network, pressure treated wood products sold by the retailers and sampled in 13 states contained an average of 120 times the amount of arsenic allowed in a 6 ounce glass of water by the U.S. EPA. The wood is treated with arsenic as a pesticide and to avoid rot, however according to the National Academy of Sciences, exposure to arsenic causes lung, bladder, and skin cancer in humans, and is suspected as a cause of kidney, prostate, and nasal passage cancer. (See related Praise item.) -- Healthy Building Network Source URL: www.healthybuilding.net/rivals.html Human RightsThe Human Rights Campaign puts out a buying guide that rates corporations on policies that affect gays and lesbians. The 2010 buying guide rates over 500 companies but Lowe's was given a low rating (rated with a question mark) since it did not respond to the survey despite repeated attempts and because its policies are unclear.http://www.hrc.org/buyersguide Political Influence In the 2008 U.S. election, Lowe's gave $81,500 to Federal candidates through its political action committee - 28% to Democrats and 72% to Republicans. In 2006, it gave $7,000 - 100% to Republicans. In 2009, it spent $866,500 for lobbying to attain legislation that the company desired.