$205,000 Payment in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Restaurant, Training Ordered

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Question:  Would sexual harassment training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.

Jimmy’s Charhouse  of Elgin, an Elgin, Ill.,  steakhouse, will pay $205,000 to resolve a sex discrimination lawsuit filed  by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC sued Jimmy’s Charhouse on behalf of female employees  who charged that they were sexually harassed by restaurant employees, including  managers. The case, EEOC v. Jimmy’s Charhouse of Elgin, Inc. (10 C 6181), was filed on  September 27, 2010.

According  to the EEOC’s suit, employees of Jimmy’s Charhouse, including former managers,  harassed several hostesses and waitresses at the restaurant. The alleged harassment included sexual  propositions, crude sexual comments and groping. One of the alleged victims claimed that she  was terminated after refusing the sexual advances of her manager.

Judge Shadur  entered a consent decree resolving this litigation on Feb. 16. The decree provides $205,000 of monetary  relief to eight women. Under the terms  of the decree, Jimmy’s Charhouse is also enjoined from further subjecting any  employee to a hostile work environment or retaliating against any employee who  opposes discrimination. The restaurant  must post a notice about the EEOC’s lawsuit in a conspicuous location and train  its employees on employment discrimination laws.

“Too often we hear about rampant  sexual harassment of restaurant employees, where waitresses appear to be fair  game,” said John Hendrickson, regional attorney of the Chicago District Office.  “We want the message to get out: Sexual harassment is illegal, whether it’s in  the boardroom or at your neighborhood restaurant.”

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