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Waitress: Cipriani restaurant is hostile to women

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

A waitress has sued Cipriani restaurants and a dozen male employees, claiming they subjected her to a stream of degrading comments about women.

Lastenia Amparo Torres, who works at Harry Cipriani in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel in Manhattan, said the harassment began when she joined the restaurant in 2000 and hasn’t let up since.

Torres, a Colombian who came to the United States in 1987, said most of the remarks were made in Spanish and were mostly hurtful to women who spoke the language. She’s suing bus help, waiters, floor captains and managers who consistently called her names such as “brute,” “stupid” and “dumb Indian.” Torres says management did nothing to stop the harassment.

Final note: This case illustrates one problem with allowing employees to speak a language that supervisors don’t know—unknown to management, employees could be experiencing harassment. Of course, you cannot prohibit employees from speaking other languages without running afoul of the EEOC’s English-only rules. The best approach: Let employees know they can report harassment in a foreign language, too.

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