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Press Release 01-29-2024

EEOC Encourages Victims of Sexual Harassment at Local Swami’s Restaurants to Come Forward

Employees Should Contact Federal Agency if They May Have Been Subjected to or Witnessed Harassment

SAN DIEGO – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) encourages victims of or witnesses to sexual harassment at Swami’s restaurants to come forward and report their experiences to the federal agency in connection with an EEOC lawsuit against the chain.

On May 17, 2023, the EEOC filed a lawsuit in federal court against Swami’s for sexual harassment and retaliation. The respondents include Swami’s 101 LLC dba Swami’s Café; Swami’s Vista LLC; Swami’s Carlsbad LLC; Swami’s Escondido LLC; Swami’s Oceanside LLC; Swami’s La Mesa LLC; Swami’s North Park LLC; Swami’s Hillcrest LLC; Swami’s Downtown LLC; and Honey’s Bistro; LLC.

According to the EEOC’s suit, the Swami’s restaurants have maintained a hostile work environment where young female employees were subjected to frequent, ongoing, inappropriate, unwelcome and offensive sexual misconduct by a Swami’s manager, other male employees, and customers. The EEOC alleges, among other things, that male employees routinely touched female employees, some of whom were underage, made lewd comments about their appearance, and asked them on dates and to engage in sexual activities. When the employees complained, nothing was done to address the harassment and misconduct.

Further, because of the employees’ complaints about this hostile work environment and Swami’s failure to take corrective action, the EEOC alleges that the company reduced the employees’ work hours; terminated them; intimidated them physically and emotionally; unfairly and incorrectly reprimanded them for their work performance; and/or left the employees with no choice but to resign.

The EEOC has resolved the lawsuit against Swami’s Downtown LLC, which has agreed to expansive injunctive remedies. Because the EEOC represents the public, it does not collect attorneys’ fees for bringing cases on the public’s behalf. The case against the remaining Swami’s restaurants continues.

If you feel you were subjected to, or witnessed, any conduct similar to the above at any of the of the Swami’s locations, please contact EEOC Regional Attorney Anna Park or the EEOC by phone or email: at 213-785-3095, Option 4, or

“Though it can be difficult to come forward, this case is very important for the public good, involving sexual harassment and retaliation against many people in various locations,” Park said. “The EEOC encourages anyone who experienced or witnessed harassment at the aforementioned Swami’s locations or Honey’s Bistro from 2019 to the present to contact us.”

For more information about the case, you may refer to

Preventing workplace harassment through systemic litigation and investigation is one of the six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP). For more information on the Commission’s SEP go to:

The EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office has jurisdiction over San Diego County.

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