$350,000 Settlement in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Restaurant

 
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
 

La Rana Hawaii, LLC, doing business as Señor Frog's, a popular Mexican-themed restaurant and bar in Honolulu, will pay $350,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of 13 female employees who were allegedly sexually harassed or retaliated against between 2007 and 2012.

The federal agency filed suit in 2011, later amending its complaint to charge that at least 10 female staffers were sexually harassed by several male employees, including managers. The EEOC alleged that the managers subjected employees to sexual comments, language and advances, and unwelcome physical contact. The agency further alleged that some employees were subjected to retaliation after complaining about the alleged harassment. The EEOC also alleged that the women were also treated less favorably than men in the workplace: they were passed over for promotions, assigned less favorable shifts and earned less than their male counterparts.

The alleged behavior violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. La Rana Hawaii, LLC dba Señor Frog's & Altres, Inc., Case No. CV-11-00799 LEK BMK) after first attempting to resolve the matter through its conciliation process.

As part of the settlement, the parties entered into a three-year consent decree requiring La Rana Hawaii, LLC to pay $350,000 to 13 female claimants. The company closed its Honolulu establishment in August 2012. Notwithstanding, if La Rana chooses to open another restaurant or chooses to reopen the Señor Frog's in Hawaii, the consent decree requires substantial injunctive relief including the creation and distribution of an anti-harassment policy along with annual training for all restaurant employees to prevent future instances of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The EEOC will monitor compliance with the agreement.

Altres Inc., a Hawaii staffing company, was contracted by La Rana Hawaii to provide human resources services and oversee the company's non-management staff during the time in question. The EEOC also named Altres in its lawsuit; Altres previously settled with the EEOC for $150,000 and injunctive relief, including EEO training for its employees.

Preventing workplace harassment through systemic litigation and investigation is one of the six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

Login to read more.
 

HR CARE®
MEMBER LOGIN

Username: *

Password: *
Accept terms *
Login failed.
 
copyright 2000 - 2018 Curtis Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. | Access to the HR Care publications is subject to certain terms and conditions.
Learn about our online compliance training at www.hrclassroom.com