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Press Release 12-09-2021

Carrabba’s to Pay $690,000 to Settle EEOC Lawsuit for Sexual Harassment

Former Managing Partner at Brandon, Florida Restaurant Sexually Harassed Female Employees, Federal Agency Charged

TAMPA – Carrabba’s Italian Grill, LLC, and OS Restaurants Services, LLC, which provides staff to restaurants across the country, will pay $690,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the defendants violated federal law when a former managing partner of the Brandon, Florida Carrabba’s subjected female employees there to sexual harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division (EEOC v. Carrabba’s Italian Grill, LLC, et al, Civil Action No. 8:21-cv-02507-SDM-CPT), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The two-and-one-half-year consent decree resolving the EEOC’s lawsuit has been approved by the federal court. In addition to paying $690,000 in monetary relief, which will be distributed among female employee victims, Carrabba’s and OS Restaurant Services will implement a new sexual harassment policy and new sexual harassment investigation procedures in its restaurants across the United States and will train certain HR and management officials on sexual harassment.

“This case makes clear that sexual harassment remains a serious problem,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “It’s critical that employers have effective policies and programs to prevent workplace harassment. The EEOC remains committed to helping employers understand and meet their legal responsibilities, but will continue to file impactful lawsuits when necessary to protect the rights of workers.”

“We commend Carrabba’s for working collaboratively with the EEOC to resolve this lawsuit,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Robert Weisberg. “The company’s willingness to address the EEOC’s concerns and its agreement to implement measures to ensure that any sexual harassment complaints are properly addressed will benefit its thousands of workers across the country.”

EEOC Tampa Field Office Director Evangeline Hawthorne added, “The policy changes and training that Carrabba’s has agreed to put into place will help prevent future sexual harassment and properly address any complaints.”

The EEOC Miami District Office’s jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Follow us on Twitter @EEOCMiami.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates