An article on News.Law uncovered the troubling case of multiple teenage Chili’s Grill & Bar employees subjected to sexual harassment during work. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed lawsuits in Little Rock, Arkansas and Dallas, Texas.
Chili’s Grill & Bar in Benton, Arkansas was charged by the EEOC for violating federal law by subjecting a class of female teenagers to sexual harassment. Allegedly, the perpetrator in Arkansas was a 33-year-old male cook.
Additionally, a Chili’s Grill & bar just outside of Dallas was also charged with violating federal law on the same basis. The main perpetrator here was another 36-year-old employee. However, the Texas lawsuit also accuses multiple other male cooks and employees of repeatedly making sexual remarks about teen employees.
Dangers of Working in the Restaurant Industry
Unfortunately, working in the restaurant industry has become increasingly more dangerous. This is particularly true for female employees, especially younger female employees. The restaurant industry can also be very appealing to younger employees due to the flexible hours that allow teenagers and young adults the freedom to attend school during the day.
Many victims of sexual harassment or assault are afraid of coming forward. This is especially true when the perpetrator and the victim work together. Victims fear losing their jobs if they come forward and their employers do not believe them, or they fear the perpetrators retaliating.
Workplace Sexual Harassment in California
In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) governs sexual harassment laws. FEHA defines sexual harassment as unwanted and sexually suggestive verbal or physical advances directed towards a person with whom the perpetrator has a professional relationship.
California classifies workplace sexual harassment law into two categories:
If you or someone you know may be a victim of workplace sexual harassment, please contact Hariri Law group for a free consultation. Our attorneys want you to know that you do not face this alone. We will work diligently to ensure you are compensated for your mental and physical injuries.