$1 Million Settlement in Class Sex Discrimination Against IHOP Franchisee, Training Ordered

Friday, November 16, 2012

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

IHOP restaurants in Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties that are owned and operated by Fahim Adi have agreed to settle a class sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for $1 million.  

The EEOC's lawsuit charged that Lee Broadnax, then a manager of the defendants' IHOP restaurants, subjected a class of women, including some teenagers, to sexual harassment. The sexually offensive conduct included sexual comments, innuendo and unwanted touching. The EEOC's suit also alleged that some women were forced to quit their jobs because of the sexual harassment, and/or due to the IHOP's failure to provide preventive or remedial relief. 

Sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico (EEOC v. Mantanio, Inc., RJM Hope, Inc., Nader, Inc., 1921, Inc., New Features, Inc., Evon, Inc., Three Brothers Management Inc., Falls Restaurant Group, Inc., Adi Unser, Inc., and ADI Brothers Management Group, Inc., 11-CV-863 KBM/WDS) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. 

The case is the second-largest litigation settlement ever reached by the EEOC's Albuquerque Area Office.  At least 22 women are expected to receive relief through the decree. In addition to the substantial monetary relief, the decree prohibits the defendants' IHOP restaurants from further discriminating or retaliating against its employees and requires IHOP to implement policies and practices that will provide its employees a work environment free of sex discrimination and retaliation.  The defendants must also provide its employees in Bernalillo and Sandoval County IHOPs with anti-discrimination training and notice of the settlement.  The company must also report future complaints to the EEOC for the duration of the decree.  

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