Restaurant's Female General Manager Harassed Female Employees Then Fired Them for Rejecting Her Advances, Federal Agency Charges
ATLANTA – Nu-Way Weiners, one of the oldest hot dog restaurants in the country, violated federal law by subjecting two female employees to a pattern of sexual harassment and then firing them for reporting it, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit recently filed.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Civil Action No., 5:11-CV-384 (MTT), filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Macon Division, two female employees at the Macon, Ga. restaurant, were subjected to repeated acts of sexual harassment by the restaurant's female general manager. The harassment included a daily barrage of lewd sexual comments, gestures, and inappropriate physical touching. The general manager groped the women's breasts and buttocks and frequently asked them to accompany her at a gay club. Both women said that the harassment began shortly after they started working at the restaurant, one in the summer of 2009, the other in January 2010. Although the general manager made it known that anyone who complained would be fired, both women openly opposed her inappropriate behavior and asked her to stop. Both women were fired in the spring of 2010 by the harasser after they had repeatedly rejected her sexual advances.
Sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement with the employer. The federal agency seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for the women, as well as injunctive relief designed to prevent such harassment and retaliation by the restaurant in the future.
“No employee should have to endure the kind of conduct that took place here,” said Bernice Williams Kimbrough, district director for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “Employers have an obligation to stop and prevent harassment once it is brought to their attention.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.