Cheesecake Factory to Pay $345,000 in Severe Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Settlement
November 13, 2009
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC) announced this week that California-based restaurant chain Cheesecake Factory will pay $345,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the EEOC on behalf of male employees who were severely sexually harassed in the workplace by other male workers at the company's Chandler Mall location in Phoenix.
Cheesecake Factory, Inc. is a nationwide restaurant chain that boasts an environment where guests share can long lasting memories with friends and family. In this EEOC-filed lawsuit, the kitchen staffers claim a very different kind of environment, filled with abuse, hostility and fear.
According to the lawsuit, filed in July 2008 in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, the Chandler Cheesecake Factory managers tolerated repeated sexual assaults against six male employees, by a group of male kitchen workers. The EEOC claimed overwhelming evidence that the men suffered sexually abusive workplace behavior while managers overlooked the violating incidents. The six male employees were reportedly forced to endure groping of their genitals, sexual remarks, grinding of the kitchen workers' genitals against them, and forced simulations of rape. The managers allegedly watched while the male employees were dragged into the refrigerator kicking and screaming for repeated violation.
Sexual Harassment in the workplace is against the law--violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the EEOC, the victims complained to nearly every manager at the restaurant, but efforts to stop the behavior were never put into place. The victims reportedly felt helpless, and finally resorted to calling to police out of fear, but the police department decided not to seek a criminal complaint.
Cheesecake Factory must, in addition to paying the $345,000 in monetary relief to the six victims of sexual harassment, train the managers and employees about sexual harassment and designate an ombudsman to discuss and address sexual harassment complaints by the employees. According to the EEOC, 16% of reported sexual harassment cases involve male victims.
Howard Law, PC protects worker's rights in sexual harassment cases and other labor and employment issues in Los Angeles County, Orange County and throughout Southern California. Contact our Anaheim-based Labor & Employment Attorneys today, to find the best solution for you.
Cheesecake Factory to Pay Sex Harassment Suit, East Valley Tribune, November 10, 2009
Cheesecake Factory Settles EEOC Suit in Case of Severe Same-Sex Sexual Harassment, EEOC, November 10. 2009
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