YS & J Enterprises Inc., operator of the Dairy Queen at the Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem, will pay $17,500 to a former employee who was fired after she complained about sexual harassment by a male co-worker.
The teenage girl worked at the Dairy Queen store from March 2009 to Aug. 23, 2009. During that time, she alleges a male co-worker engaged in sexually explicit language, gestures and comments. She said he constantly used derogatory terms for women. The girl says she complained about the harassment to the manager, to no avail.
When the harassment continued, her mother called the Winston-Salem police, who showed up at the store. While police were there, the manager fired the girl, claiming she was “causing too many problems for the company.”
Of course, the restaurant’s problems had just begun.
The teenager filed a harassment and retaliation complaint with the EEOC, which attempted to mediate the dispute. When that process went nowhere, the EEOC sued on her behalf.
YS & J Enterprises quickly decided to settle instead of taking its chances on the outcome of a jury trial.