Roswell Restaurant/Nightclub Manager Harassed Waitresses And Forced Them to Quit, Federal Agency Charged
ATLANTA - Sirdah Enterprises, Inc., doing business as Taboo 2 Bar & Bistro in Roswell, Ga., has consented to a judgment of $250,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. As Sirdah is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, the judgment will be distributed in accordance with the bankruptcy process.
In its suit, EEOC charged that the employer, which operates and is headquartered in Atlanta, allowed six female servers to be subjected to repeated acts of sexual harassment by a manager. The sexual harassment occurred throughout the servers' employment, occurring daily for some. According to the suit, the harassment included groping, indecent exposure, explicit sex-related comments, requests for sexual favors and promises of better working assignments and other benefits if they engaged in sexual acts. When some of the servers rejected the sexual advances, they were assigned to less profitable sections of the restaurant or had their work schedules negatively changed, which resulted in lower earning opportunities. Although the employees complained to other management officials about the harassment, nothing was done to stop it, the suit charged. The agency also alleged that the working conditions were so intolerable that five of the women were forced to resign.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from subjecting employees to discrimination on the basis of sex. EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for Northern District of Georgia (Civil Action No. 13-CV-03657) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree settling the suit includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training and reporting and posting of anti-discrimination notices.
"EEOC is pleased that the company has agreed to settle this matter and implement policies and procedures that are conducive to a work environment free of sexual harassment," said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the agency's Atlanta District Office. "It is imperative that employers take seriously their responsibility to prevent sexual harassment from occurring and put an end to sexual harassment once they become aware of it."
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the agency is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.