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.