A fast-food franchise in Mendota and its owner are in hot water over allegations that they did nothing after female employees complained that a manager subjected them to sexual harassment, inappropriate touching and even sexual assault.
The EEOC is suing on the women’s behalf, claiming Mendota Restaurants, Inc.—which operates a Taco Bell and KFC restaurant—and its owner retaliated against workers who complained about the manager.
The suit says the company never investigated the women’s sexual harassment charges, and that the subsequent retaliation led other employees to quit for fear that the situation would become even more intolerable.
Advice: Employers enjoy a safe harbor on harassment charges—if they promptly and professionally investigate. But if they ignore complaints or try to dissuade employees from complaining about harassment, then they are guilty of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Here’s how to comply with the law:
- Make sure employees know how to report sexual harassment. If an employee’s immediate supervisor is the alleged harasser, another person must be available to receive the complaint.
- Have an impartial process in place to investigate sexual harassment complaints.
- If you confirm that harassment occurred, act fast to stop it by transferring or terminating the offender.
In this case, one of the women alleged sexual assault. Never protect alleged criminal activity. Report it to the police.
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- Document any slippage in employee performance to insulate against later discrimination claims
- Intentional bias can spur court to install applicant into job.
- Remind supervisors: Absolutely no comments about employee's pending EEOC complaint