Sal’s Mexican Restaurant in Fresno, California has agreed to settle a sexual harassment complaint filed by a former hostess. According to the complaint, the hostess was a teenager when a male supervisor continually propositioned her for sexual favors, grabbed her and required her to give him hugs and back rubs as part of her duties.
She claims the restaurant took no action when she complained of the harassment. Ultimately, she felt compelled to quit. Then she got in touch with the EEOC, which found reasonable cause to believe discrimination had occurred.
Without admitting liability, Sal’s agreed to a two-year conciliation agreement under which it will hire a third-party consultant to help create, revise and implement procedures to address and prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The restaurant will provide all employees with live training on their rights and responsibilities with respect to workplace discrimination and harassment. It must also establish a system to track and monitor complaints.
Note: This is a run-of-the-mill harassment case with one important difference that may have saved the restaurant thousands of dollars: Instead of fighting the investigation tooth and nail and waiting until the EEOC filed suit, the employer settled during the conciliation process.
Always consult with your attorney about legal strategy. Once the EEOC concludes that discrimination or harassment likely took place, your problems won’t go away on their own.