Bon-Ton settles with Attorney General on victim’s civil rights

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CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. has reached an agreement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman threats against an employee who is a domestic violence survivor. The Bon-Ton store at the Eastern Hills Mall in Clarence was accused of discriminating against a victim of domestic violence.

The case involved Schneiderman’s Civil Rights and Labor Bureaus, which accused Bon-Ton of treating an employee who is a survivor of domestic violence differently than they would have treated any other employee facing an imminent threat.

The woman reported receiving death threats from her ex-husband, filed a police report and was in the process of obtaining an Order of Protection, which she told her store manager.

The store manager sent the associate home, with pay for that day, and told her to stay home until she could show the manager she had been granted an order of protection.

In New York, survivors of domestic violence are a protected class, and Assistant Attorney General Diane Lucas of the Civil Rights Bureau said Bon-Ton should have taken affirmative steps to protect the employee, rather than sending her home.

“They should not have sent her home, and they should not have told her that the only way she could return to work was if she brought an order of protection because that is treating her differently than they would have treated another employee who was also under threat, and was not a domestic violence victim.”

Lucas said, Bon-Ton has agreed to revise their Random Threat Response Policy, and make sure all of their New York store associates are made aware of the legal protections afforded domestic violence survivors.

Bon-Ton has also agreed to donate $5,000 to the Erie County Sheriff’s Domestic Violence Unit, which has first response law enforcement authority at the Eastern Hills Mall.

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