Press Release 12-18-2020

1618 Concepts to Pay $30,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Male Restaurant Worker Molested by Male Coworker, Federal Agency Charged

GREENSBORO, N.C. – 1618 Concepts, Inc., 1618 Downtown, Inc., and Northern Lights Inc., collect­ively operating as “1618 Concepts” restaurant group in Greensboro, North Carolina, agreed to pay $30,000 and provide other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s complaint, Peter Matusik, a dishwasher at the restaurant group’s 1618 Downtown location, was sexually harassed by a male coworker who repeatedly touched Matusik.  The EEOC’s lawsuit further charged that although Matusik complained to 1618 Concepts’ managers, the harassment continued.  Matusik was forced to resign as a result of the conduct, the EEOC said. 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating based on sex, including through sexual harassment.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. 1618 Concepts, Inc., 1618 Downtown, Inc. and Northern Lights Inc., Civil Action No.: 1:19-cv-00672), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to providing monetary relief to Matusik, the two-year consent decree requires 1618 Concepts to conduct annual training for its employees, super­visors, and managers on the requirements of Title VII and its prohibition against sexual harassment in the workplace.  1618 Concepts must also post an employee notice in their facilities and provide periodic reports to the EEOC.

“Title VII requires that employers take prompt and appropriate corrective action to address sexual harassment between coworkers, including employees of the same sex,” said Melinda C. Dugas, regional attorney for the agency’s Charlotte District Office.  “Failure to do address coworker conduct that the employer knew or should have known about is a violation of federal law.”

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.