Eddie Morales, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A Shorewood family hopes to change harassment, bullying and disability rights policies at Kroger grocery stores following the firing of their daughter with special needs who, according to her mother, was coerced into buying alcohol for two underage employees.
Beth Giacobassi’s 25-year-old daughter, Gina, has worked at the local Metro Market, 4075 N. Oakland Ave., for almost four years. During that time, Giacobassi said Gina has been stalked by a coworker, asked to buy alcohol and cigarettes for underage employees and was offered pills and marijuana in the break room.
“It was getting so bad my daughter felt that she could barely go into work,” Giacobassi said. “It was much better when she first started working there before Kroger bought them out, but as soon as it became corporate, it became a mess.”
On April 17, two underage female employees asked Gina to buy $16 of alcohol for them. Six days later, she self-reported the incident to management, per the company's ethics policy. A week later, she was fired.
Beth Giacobassi is working with Attorney Monica Murphy of Disability Rights Wisconsin on the family's next steps.
“There is a clause in their harassment agreement that says if you come to management with any issue because of being bullied, you cannot be punished or terminated,” Giacobassi said. “But that all gets discounted because she broke the law.”
A Kroger spokesperson has not responded to questions about the incident or the company's response to it.Read more: https://www.jsonline.com/story/communities/northshore/news/shorewood/2020/06/16/shorewood-metro-market-worker-special-needs-bullied-then-fired/3198879001/