In previous posts, we have discussed the pervasive trend of sexual harassment in restaurants and bars. Often, employees in restaurants are younger and may have less work experience than employees in other industries. Employees may not know that they have a legal right to be free from harassment and discrimination in the workplace or they may not recognize that certain behaviors are discriminatory. Even if employees do realize that their employer’s or co-worker’s behavior is unacceptable, they may be afraid to report the harassment for fear of retaliation. If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, contact a sexual harassment lawyer who can help protect your rights.
Lawsuit Alleges Chili’s Failed to Take Corrective Action Regarding Sexual Harassment
A Colorado Chili's restaurant may have violated federal law by exposing female employees to sexual harassment and retaliation. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges that both the restaurant's managing partner and the assistant manager continually made sexual and derogatory comments to female servers and hostesses. When employees reported the harassment, no corrective action was taken to stop the harassment. Even worse, the EEOC reports that management reduced the hours of some employees who had complained about the harassment in revenge. This type of retaliatory action is in direct violation of state and federal law including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC has since filed suit against Brinker Restaurant Corporation, Chili's Grill & Bar, and Brinker International Payroll Company, L.P. after attempts to reach a voluntary settlement failed.
Chili’s May Be Forced to Compensate Former Employees
If the lawsuit is successful, Chili's may be forced to provide the affected employees with financial compensation. This compensation could include back wages for the employees who were forced to resign, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. The EEOC is also asking the court to order Chili’s to establish policies and procedures that prevent further sexual harassment in the establishment. If you have been sexually harassed at work or if your employer retaliated against you for making a sexual harassment complaint, you should know that there are options available to you to receive compensation....