$250,000 Judgment in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Restaurant

Thursday, January 28, 2016
Sirdah Enterprises, Inc., doing business as Taboo 2 Bar & Bistro in Roswell, Ga., has consented to a judgment of $250,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­tu­nity Commission (EEOC). As Sirdah is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, the judgment will be distributed in accordance with the bankruptcy process.

In its suit, EEOC charged that the employer, which operates and is head­quartered in Atlanta, allowed six female servers to be subjected to repeated acts of sexual harassment by a manager. The sexual harassment occurred throughout the servers' employment, occurring daily for some. According to the suit, the harassment included groping, in­decent exposure, explicit sex-related comments, requests for sexual favors and promises of better working assignments and other benefits if they engaged in sexual acts. When some of the servers rejected the sexual advances, they were assigned to less profitable sections of the restaurant or had their work schedules negatively changed, which resulted in lower earning opportu­nities. Although the employees complained to other management officials about the harassment, nothing was done to stop it, the suit charged. The agency also alleged that the working conditions were so intolerable that five of the women were forced to resign. 

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.  EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for Northern District of Georgia (Civil Action No. 13-CV-03657) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. 

In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree settling the suit includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training and reporting and posting of anti-discrimination notices. 

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