Press Release 09-25-2020

EEOC Sues American Glory for Race and Sex Harassment and Retaliation

Restaurant Owner Created Racially and Sexually Hostile Work Environment, and Retaliated Against Employee Who Complained, Federal Agency Charges

NEW YORK – American Glory Restaurant Corp. violated federal law by subjecting its employees to racial and sexual harassment and by retaliating against an employee who objected to the racial harassment he experienced, the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. American Glory operates restaurant locations in Hudson and Tannersville, N.Y.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, American Glory’s owner and president repeatedly subjected Black employees to racist comments and slurs. He also assigned Black employees to less desirable job duties, on one occasion noting that such work was “what a Black man should be doing.” When one of the affected employees complained, American Glory cut his hours drastically, forcing his resignation.

The EEOC further charged that the owner subjected female employees to sexual harassment, which included leering, unwelcome physical contact, and crude sex-based comments.

This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits emp­loyers from discriminating based on race and sex and from retaliating against workers who object to discrimination. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. American Glory Restaurant Corp., Civil Action No. 1:20-cv-00184) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York after the parties were unable to reach a pre-litigation settlement through EEOC’s conciliation process.

The EEOC seeks compensa­tory and punitive damages for the affected employees, and back pay for the employee who was forced to resign. The EEOC also seeks injunctive relief designed to remedy and prevent race and sex harassment in the workplace. The agency’s litigation effort will be led by Trial Attorney Renay Oliver and Supervisory Trial Attorney Nora Curtin.

“Unfortunately, harassment — including race and sex harassment – is still far too prevalent in the restaurant industry,” said Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office. “This case proves again that the EEOC’s work in this area is as crucial now as it has ever been.”

Judy Keenan, district director of the New York District Office, added, “Owning a business does not give you license to engage in unlawful harassment. The EEOC stands ready to protect employees regardless of the status of the harasser.”

The EEOC’s New York District Office is responsible for addressing discrimination charges and conducting agency litigation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, northern New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.

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.