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PRESS RELEASE
9-2-14

JEC Enterprises in Albuquerque Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment Suit For $200,000

Managers Harassed Four Female Workers, Including Two Teens, and Forced Some Women to Quit, Federal Agency Charged

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - JEC Enterprises, Inc., which owns and operates four McDonald's franchises in Albuquerque, will pay $200,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC's lawsuit, EEOC v. JEC Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a McDonald's, 12-CV-01015 MV/SCY, charged that managers of an Albuquerque McDonald's operated by JEC sexually harassed teen workers Samantha Collins and Teneka Templeton, and also subjected two other female class members to sexual harassment. The EEOC said the women were subjected to sexual comments and innuendo and unwelcome touching or attempted touching of their bodies, which created a hostile work environment for them. The EEOC also alleges the two class members were forced to resign their employment because of the harassment and the failure of the employer to provide prompt corrective action.

Sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its concili­ation process.

In addition to the substantial monetary relief, the decree prohibits JEC from discrim­inating or retaliating against its employees and requires it to implement policies and practices that will provide its employees a work environment free of sex discrimination and retaliation. JEC also agreed to provide its employees with anti-discrimination training and notice of the settlement. Finally, JEC will provide the harmed women with letters of regret.

"Employers must have in place adequate harassment policies and complaint procedures to address sexual harassment in the workplace," said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill of the EEOC's Phoenix District Office. "They must comply with federal law that requires them to maintain workplaces where employees are not subjected to illegal sexual harassment or forced to quit because of it."

EEOC Albuquerque Area Director Derick L. Newton added, "We are pleased that this employer is now taking appropriate steps to assure that no harassment occurs in its work­places. Federal law protects a woman's right to work without harassment because of her sex. Violations of the law will be met with rigorous enforcement by our agency."

The 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 EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.