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Sangria’s Waitress and Family Members Fired for Reporting Misconduct, Federal Agency Charges

ATLANTA – Sangria’s Mexican Restaurant in Tucker, Ga., violated federal law by subjecting a waitress to sexual harassment and then firing her and family members for reporting it, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Civil Action No., 1:09-CV- 2566, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Lauren Goldston, a waitress at Sangria’s, was subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, remarks and inappropriate touching by a male cook at the restaurant. Lauren Goldston’s mother, Sara, aunt, Francesca, and uncle, Max, also worked at Sangria’s. They all reported the sexual harassment to Sangria’s’ owner on several occasions, the EEOC said, but nothing was done by the company to remedy the hostile work environment. Instead of ending the harassment, the EEOC charged, Sangria’s terminated all the Goldstons in retaliation for reporting the sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment and retaliation against one person is bad enough,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Robert Dawkins. “Here, the employer punished an entire family. The EEOC will protect employees’ rights to protest illegal conduct.”

Sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The federal agency seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief designed to prevent such harassment in the future.

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