The Good Fork Pays Dishwasher $20,000; Implements Policy and Training in Spanish
SAN JOSE - The Good Fork (formerly doing business as Fuzia), a Morgan Hill restaurant, agreed to pay $20,000 to a former dishwasher and to implement preventative measures to settle a federal retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC charged that weeks after the employee reported to the owner (and police) an incident that she perceived as sexual harassment, she was abruptly informed that the restaurant no longer had work for her.
Terminating an employee for opposing discrimination, such as sexual harassment, violates the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After an investigation by EEOC Investigator Rosa Salazar and first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through conciliation efforts, the EEOC filed the suit (12-CV-04386 PSG) in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern District of California.
According to the consent decree settling the suit, in addition to the monetary relief of $20,000 to the former employee, The Good Fork agreed to create, implement and train its managers and staff on anti-discrimination policies and reporting procedures. In addition, these policies, procedures and training will be made available in English as well Spanish to accommodate monolingual Spanish-speaking staff. The company also agreed to provide the EEOC with a summary of all reports of discrimination, harassment or retaliation for an 18-month period.
"It is in everyone's best interest when workers are secure in knowing that they will not be retaliated against for speaking up against unlawful employment practices," said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William Tamayo. "We hope The Good Fork's new policies and procedures achieve that goal."
"Instituting formal policy and procedures and making them available in Spanish will ensure that all workers can freely exercise their rights," said EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado. He noted that the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan clearly prioritizes the goals of protecting vulnerable workers and preserving access to the legal system.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.