Red Lobster Restaurants LLC has agreed to pay $160,000 to settle an EEOC sexual harassment case (EEOC v. Red Lobster Restaurants LLC, Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-02860-MJG).While the EEOC reportedly tried to reach a pre-litigation settlement with Red Lobster via its conciliation process, the case was ultimately filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern District after early settlement negotiations failed.
Commenting on this settlement, EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence noted that:
Sexual harassment remains a persistent problem in the workplace. The EEOC is pleased that Red Lobster worked with us to resolve this matter and will provide equitable relief and training to prevent sexual harassment and employment discrimination at that location.
Details of the EEOC Red Lobster Sexual Harassment Case
According to court documents associated with this case, the sexual harassment occurred at a Red Lobster restaurant based in Salisbury, MD. The former culinary manager of that restaurant reportedly sexually harassed three female employees, subjecting them to:
- Grabbing and groping, including pressing his groin against the female employees
- Offensive sexual comments, including remarks about his genitals and other female employees' bodies.
The complaint goes on to detail how the general manager of the restaurant not only knew about these incidents of sexual harassment but that he also:
- Failed to take prompt action to stop it
- Had a history of making sexually charged and offensive comments about female employees.
Noting the egregious nature of the harassment in this case, Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., district director of the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office, commented that, “Sexual harassment should not be tolerated by any employer… It's especially pernicious when a manager is the alleged harasser.”
A Closer Look at the Settlement Agreement
While Red Lobster has agreed to pay $160,000 to settle this sexual harassment case, this is only part of the agreement with the EEOC. In fact, the two-year consent agreement Red Lobster has entered into will also require the company to
- Not engage in any unlawful retaliation against the female employees who reported the sexual harassment
- Not engage in any further sexual harassment
- Provide training to all of its employees at the Salisbury restaurant regarding federal anti-discrimination laws, with a particular emphasis on sexual harassment
- Post a notice regarding this settlement in the Salisbury restaurant.
Atlanta Sexual Harassment Lawyers at the Law Firm of Barret & Farahany, LLP
Have you been the target of sexual harassment – or any type of harassment – in the workplace? If so, you can turn to the experienced Atlanta sexual harassment lawyers at the Law Firm of Barret & Farahany, LLP for aggressive legal advocacy and the highest quality legal services.
At Barret & Farahany, we believe in helping people and protecting their rights, which is why our attorneys always provide our clients personalized, responsive legal service. This also means that you can rely on us to successfully represent your interests, aggressively fight for your rights and work diligently to help you obtain the compensation and justice you deserve.