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Catie Food Systems Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment

Female Employees at Hardy, Va., Wendy's Subjected to Sexual Comments, Propositions and Touching by Store Manager, Federal Agency Charged

LYNCHBURG, Va. -  Catie Food Systems, Inc., doing business as a Hardy, Va., Wendy's restaurant, violated federal law by subjecting some of its female employees to sexual harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.    

According to the EEOC's complaint, between approximately October 2008 and April 2009, three female employees, Robin Minter, Mary Fairweather and Nancy Yager, were subjected to abuse by a male store manager at the company's restaurant located at Smith Mountain Lake in Hardy.  The complaint alleges that Minter and Fairweather were crew members at the restaurant at the time of the harassment and Yager was a shift manager at the time.  The EEOC said the harassment included crude and offensive sexual comments, requests for sex and unwelcome touching of the women's breasts and buttocks.  The women complained about the sexual harassment to managers within the company but, according to the EEOC's complaint, the harassment continued.  The complaint further alleges that other women who worked at the restaurant might have also been sexually harassed by the same store manager.

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 against Rocky Mount, Va.-based Catie's (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Catie Food Systems, Inc., d/b/a Wendy's Restaurant, Civ. No. 6:12cv00042)  in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Lynchburg Division after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process. 

"Once an employer is put on notice that its female employees are being subjected to sexual harassment, it must take prompt corrective action to stop the misconduct," said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District Office, whose jurisdiction includes the state of Virginia.  "The EEOC is committed to using all available means, including litigation, to combat sexual harassment in the workplace."

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