Restaurant Manager Sent Sexually Offensive Texts Demanding Sex for Jobs, Federal Agency Charged
ALBANY, N.Y. - Draper Development, LLC, doing business as Subway, which operates at least 24 Subway restaurants in the Albany area, violated federal law by subjecting two teenage female job applicants to sexual harassment when its manager offered them jobs in exchange for sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed on July 21, 2015.
According to EEOC's suit, Nick Kelly, the store manager of the Subway at the Rotterdam Square Mall in Schenectady, offered two 17-year-old girls jobs in exchange for sex. Both applied for positions as a sandwich artist at one of Draper Development's Subway locations. Kelly sent each of them sexually explicit text messages requesting or suggesting sex in connection with their job offers, EEOC said. When the young women refused to submit to sexual relations with Kelly, they were not hired.
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Draper Development, LLC d/b/a Subway, (1:15-cv-00877-GLS-TWD), in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency's lawsuit seeks monetary relief for the two applicants in the form of back pay, compensatory and punitive damages and a permanent injunction against any future discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex.
"This case is particularly egregious because the victims were young, vulnerable teens just entering the job market," said Robert D. Rose, Regional Attorney for EEOC's New York District Office. "EEOC will pursue aggressively remedies for all victims of sexual harassment in the workplace."
EEOC New York District Director Kevin Berry said, "Title VII protects both applicants and workers from discrimination and sexual harassment. The law simply does not permit an employer to offer or deny a job in exchange for sex."
EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Judith Biltekoff added, "Employers need to make sure that their managers are properly trained to comply with anti-discrimination and harassment laws in the workplace."
EEOC recently updated its Youth@Work website (at http://www.eeoc.gov/youth/), which presents information for teens and other young workers about employment discrimination. The website also contains curriculum guides for students and teachers and videos to help young workers learn about their rights and responsibilities in the workforce.
The New York District Office of EEOC oversees New York, Northern New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the commission is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov .