Teenaged Male Employee Hugged, Touched and Spanked by Supervisor, Federal Lawsuit Alleged
NEW YORK – McDonald’s will pay $50,000 to settle a sex discrimination suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC charged that McDonald’s USA, LLC unlawfully subjected an employee to sexual harassment at one of its Perth Amboy, N.J., restaurants.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 2:09-Civ-05028 (WJM)(MF)), filed September 29, 2009 in U.S. District Court for District of New Jersey, an assistant store manager made lewd comments to a teenaged crew member and touched, spanked and hugged him in a way that made him very uncomfortable. The crew member was only 16-17 years of age when these incidences took place.
The case was resolved pursuant to a consent decree signed by Judge William J. Martini on October 19. Besides paying the victim $50,000 in compensatory damages, McDonald’s will also take important steps to prevent future workplace harassment. The company will post and maintain EEOC remedial notices and posters; train all employees and managers at the restaurant on the federal laws that prohibit discrimination; maintain an anti-discrimination policy and complaint procedure; and cooperate with EEOC’s compliance monitoring.
EEOC Acting New York District Director Elizabeth Grossman said, “The EEOC takes very seriously allegations of sexual harassment involving teenagers because many of them are in the workplace for the first time and don’t know how to complain, especially when the harasser is their supervisor.” Adela Santos, the EEOC trial attorney assigned to the case, added, “We are very pleased that McDonald’s agreed to settle this case without protracted litigation and that it is taking steps to prevent future workplace discrimination.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.