$91,000 Settlement in Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Lawsuit Against Barbecue Restaurant, Training Ordered

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Question:  Would sexual harassment training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.
Coley's #101 LLC, doing business as Dad's BBQ in Anniston, Ala., has agreed to pay $91,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to the EEOC's suit, Aretha Johnson and a class of women experienced ongoing sexual harassment and discrimination on the job from an assistant manager and a cook. The EEOC said that Johnson and the class were subjected to the frequent use of sexually explicit words, degrading sexual comments about their bodies, threats of forced sexual acts, and propositions for sex.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from subjecting employees to discrimination on the basis of sex.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (EEOC v. Coley's #101, LLC. d/b/a Dad's BBQ, Case No. 1:11-cv-03465-VEH) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to monetary relief, the company entered into a consent decree and agreed to ensure that all of its employees are trained on sexual harassment and the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII, and managers are additionally to receive training on handling sexual harassment and how to respond to complaints.  Dad's BBQ is enjoined from engaging in discrimination based on sex in the future and from retaliation. Under the terms of the decree, Dad's will be monitored by the EEOC for the term of the decree.

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