Sparks Steakhouse in Midtown Manhattan will pay $600,000 to settle a same-sex harassment lawsuit that alleged the upscale eatery did nothing to stop a male manager from groping waiters.
The plaintiffs claim the fondling went on for eight years. The EEOC lawsuit filed on the waiters’ behalf said the manager routinely grabbed their buttocks and placed his hands on their crotches. It claimed waiters who complained were given undesirable assignments or suspended.
In addition to paying the men, the settlement agreement requires Sparks Steakhouse to set up a complaint hotline for reporting harassment, enforce a new anti-harassment policy and post a public notice about the settlement. It must also report all sexual harassment and retaliation complaints to the EEOC.
- Be prepared to explain each promotion decision
- Interview and consider applicants even if they're receiving SSD payments
- No need to investigate harassment complaints clearly not covered by anti-discrimination laws
- Common sense prevails: Simply belonging to protected class doesn't justify bias lawsuit
- Act fast to investigate, correct hostile work environment signs