KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Napoli’s Italian Restaurant discriminated against a 17-year old server and other female teen workers by subjecting them to sexual harassment in the form of lewd comments, propositions and touching, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today in federal court. Napoli’s Italian Restaurant is located in Maryville, Mo.
According to the EEOC’s suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Civil Action No. 5:09-cv-06122-FJG, restaurant managers subjected a 17-year old waitress and several other young female employees to a campaign of sexual comments, threats and unwanted touching. After the male managers allegedly trapped the 17-year old in the office with them and turned out the lights, she left her job because she did not feel safe in the workplace, the EEOC said.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, protects workers from discrimination based upon gender, including sexual harassment. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
“Sexual harassment in the workplace violates Title VII and is even more egregious when the target of the harassment is a teenager,” said James Neely, director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District Office. “A young person’s first working experience can be formative. Teenagers should not be subjected to a hostile work environment. The EEOC is committed to making the workplace safe for young workers.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.