Family Restaurant Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
A sexual harassment lawsuit within a family restaurant by the name of Angelo's Pizza and Grill will be resolved in the form of a $35,000 settlement to be split between seven female victims.
The sexual harassment took place from January 2005 through September 2012 at a location in upstate New York. During the time period, the three owners of the restaurant subjected the female employees to exceptionally obscene and disturbing behavior. Such misconduct included inappropriate groping of the breasts and buttocks, sexual gestures with cucumbers and orange cones, and sexually explicit comments. There were instances in which the owners had requested the women to perform sexual acts on them.
Two of the women were allegedly fired after complaining about the way they were treated while working at the restaurant. Despite this, the victims still came forward to seek justice in the situation through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
According to EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Judith Biltekoff, "The victims in this case have shown great strength in standing up to right the wrongs perpetrated against them by their former employer."
The restaurant was purchased by a new owner in September 2012, and thus the three men responsible for the misconduct no longer have any affiliation with the restaurant.
However, in addition to the $35,000 settlement, the three men as well as the new owner of the restaurant are bound by a consent decree for a duration of three years. A consent decree is a voluntary agreement made without any admissions of guilt, and thus without a criminal conviction or civil judgment. The new owner of the restaurant must also take measures to prevent sexual harassment from occurring again in the future.
In response to the situation and sexual harassment in general, EEOC New York District Director Kevin Berry stated "the EEOC will not stop aggressively pursuing remedies for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace."
It is important for victims of sexual harassment in their place of employment to stand up for themselves. If you have been the victim of unwanted sexual advances, don't wait until the environment becomes even more hostile. Contact one of our employment law attorneys today to find out what you can do about sexual harassment in the workplace.