The EEOC has filed suit against Vinny’s Italian Grill in Hillsborough, claiming it fired two women after they complained about a manager’s ongoing sexual harassment.
Former employee Jacqueline Sorrel represents a class of women who were allegedly exposed to a sexually hostile work environment while working at the pizzeria.
The manager allegedly asked the women personal questions about their sex lives and proffered unsolicited insights into his own. When Sorrel and one other woman complained to one of the co-owners, they claim they were told, “It’s no big deal.”
Then, when they complained to one of the managers, they were fired.
The EEOC lawsuit seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future harassment.
Advice: Casually ignoring or downplaying sexual harassment is just bad business. The fact that Vinny’s refused to investigate the women’s allegations means it heads into court in an extremely weak position.
Train managers how to spot and prevent sexual harassment. Stop it when you see it. Investigate it when it’s reported.
- Is there a legal reason to have employee photos in your files?
- OK to insist on initial retirement request
- Gather statistical evidence to show you don't discriminate
- Equal treatment is absolutely essential after employee's complaint
- Feel free to reassign employees if it's justified—you won't be liable for retaliation