Male Employees Were Harassed Because of Their Sex, Federal Agency Charges
WASHINGTON - Mejia Corporation, doing business as El Tio Tex-Mex Grill, violated federal law when it subjected employees to sex-based harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, at least three male servers were subjected to sex-based harassment at the El Tio Tex-Mex Grill restaurant in Gainesville, Va. The harassment included the kitchen staff and other employees openly taunting the servers about their perceived lack of masculinity and calling them derogatory names. In addition, one of the employees was spat at and threatened while at work. The employees complained to the owner and the general manager, but management failed to take corrective action and the harassment continued, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination and sex-based harassment in the workplace. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Civil Action No.__1:18cv-01226) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. In the lawsuit, the EEOC is seeking an injunction prohibiting El Tio Tex-Mex Grill from engaging in sexual harassment in the future, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.
"The filing of this suit demonstrates the EEOC's continued commitment to combating sexual harassment - by anyone and against anyone," said EEOC Washington Field Office Acting Director Mindy Weinstein. "No one should be subjected to this type of mistreatment in the workplace."
EEOC Philadelphia District Office Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, "Sexual harassment in the workplace is plainly intolerable and illegal. Management cannot ignore employee complaints about a hostile work environment."
The EEOC's Philadelphia District Office investigates discrimination charges and prosecutes cases arising out of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, parts of New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.