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PRESS RELEASE
11-3-09

Ruby Tuesday Will Pay $255,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Involving Teens

PHILADELPHIA -- Ruby Tuesday, Inc. will pay $255,000 and furnish important equitable relief to settle a federal sexual harassment lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit against Ruby Tuesday, Inc., a general manager subjected Michelle Gydosh, of Stroudsburg, Pa., and other female employees to sexual harassment at its Stroudsburg restaurant.  The manager’s unwelcome harassment included making crude sexual propositions to women, frequently making sexually explicit and graphic remarks to them about their appearance, and making lewd comments in their presence about other women.  The EEOC said that some of these women affected by this unlawful harassment were teenagers.

Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC attempted to reach a voluntary settlement before it filed suit (Civil Action 08-1592) in U.S. District Court for the Middle of Pennsylvania.

“Sexual harassment is always unacceptable, but when some of the victims are vulnerable teenagers, it is especially unconscionable,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru.

In addition to the monetary payments to Gydosh and the four other women who were sexually harassed, the three-year consent decree resolving the suit provides equitable relief including annual training of all managers and supervisors at the Stroudsburg site, imposing supervisory accountability requirements mandating all managers and supervisors to administer their work areas in compliance with the company’s policy against sexual harassment, requiring the redistribution of its policy against harassment to all employees at its Stroudsburg location, and the posting of a notice regarding the settlement.  Ruby Tuesday denied liability in the consent decree.

“The consent decree resolves egregious harassment,” said EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence.  “It also addresses the broader issues of how to prevent a recurrence of such harassment.  The EEOC believes all Ruby Tuesday employees in Stroudsburg will benefit from the supervisory accountability provisions and training provided for in the decree.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.