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Company Failed to Stop Abuse of Female Employees at Raleigh KFC, Agency Charges

RALEIGH, N.C. – The company that owns and operates a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Raleigh, N.C., violated federal law by allowing a male employee to sexually harass female employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit against Luihn Food Systems, Inc., Tina Underwood, Sheila Mungin, Sabih Sheridan and Barbara Nowlin, who were employed at the Duraleigh Road KFC in Raleigh, were subjected to sexual harassment between February 2007 and January 2008. The harassment included unwelcome sexual touching by a male employee at the restaurant, including his rubbing his body against the women, touching some of their buttocks and breasts, and walking into the restroom while a female employee was using it. Despite receiving several complaints about the harassment, Luihn Food Systems failed to take action to stop it.

Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the lawsuit, the EEOC seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the affected women, as well as injunctive and other non-monetary relief. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (Civil Action No. 5:09-cv-00387), after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.

“Once an employer is put on notice that its employees, male or female, are being subjected to sexual harassment, it must take prompt corrective action to stop it,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District, which includes the EEOC’s Raleigh Area Office, where the underlying charges of discrimination were filed. “The EEOC is committed to using all available means, including litigation, to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.”

The EEOC enforces the nation’s laws prohibiting discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), religion, national origin, age, disability and retaliation. More information about the EEOC is available on its website at