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PRESS RELEASE
2-21-12

Jimmy’s Charhouse of Elgin Pays $205,000 to Resolve EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Federal  Agency Charged Women Were Subjected to Abuse at Suburban Chicago Restaurant

CHICAGO – Jimmy’s Charhouse  of Elgin, an Elgin, Ill.,  steakhouse, will pay $205,000 to resolve a sex discrimination lawsuit filed  by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency  announced today. The EEOC sued Jimmy’s Charhouse on behalf of female employees  who charged that they were sexually harassed by restaurant employees, including  managers. The case, EEOC v. Jimmy’s Charhouse of Elgin, Inc. (10 C 6181), was filed on  September 27, 2010.

According  to the EEOC’s suit, employees of Jimmy’s Charhouse, including former managers,  harassed several hostesses and waitresses at the restaurant. The alleged harassment included sexual  propositions, crude sexual comments and groping. One of the alleged victims claimed that she  was terminated after refusing the sexual advances of her manager.

Judge Shadur  entered a consent decree resolving this litigation on Feb. 16. The decree provides $205,000 of monetary  relief to eight women. Under the terms  of the decree, Jimmy’s Charhouse is also enjoined from further subjecting any  employee to a hostile work environment or retaliating against any employee who  opposes discrimination. The restaurant  must post a notice about the EEOC’s lawsuit in a conspicuous location and train  its employees on employment discrimination laws.

“Too often we hear about rampant  sexual harassment of restaurant employees, where waitresses appear to be fair  game,” said John Hendrickson, regional attorney of the Chicago District Office.  “We want the message to get out: Sexual harassment is illegal, whether it’s in  the boardroom or at your neighborhood restaurant.”

In addition  to Hendrickson, the EEOC’s litigation team from its Chicago District Office  included Supervisory Trial Attorney Diane Smason and Trial Attorneys Jeanne Szromba  and Richard Mrizek. The Chicago District Office is responsible for processing  charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of  agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota,  with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

The EEOC is responsible for  enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.