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Press Release 08-24-2023

EEOC Sues Mariscos El Puerto and La Catrina for Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Harassment Against Gay and Lesbian Workers

Las Vegas Restaurant and Bar Also Retaliated Against Employees, Federal Agency Charges

LAS VEGAS — Mariscos El Puerto, Inc. and La Catrina, LLC, a restaurant and bar based in Las Vegas, violated federal law when its owners, managers, supervisors, co-workers, and customers subjected female workers to sexual harassment and subjected gay and lesbian workers to discrimination and harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in two separate lawsuits filed today.                                          

According to the first lawsuit, since 2015, male managers, supervisors, co-workers, and/or customers of Mariscos and La Catrina subjected female workers at the restaurant and bar to sexual harassment. Male managers and/or supervisors required female employees to engage in sexual activities to maintain their employment and terminated employees who refused. The harassment also included sexual assaults, sexual solicitations, inappropriate touching of the buttocks and breasts, males rubbing up against the female workers, and frequent explicit sexual comments.

The second lawsuit alleges Mariscos’ and La Catrina’s owners, managers, and/or supervisors discriminated against gay and lesbian workers and subjected them to harassment based on their sexual orientation, which included physical assault and offensive slurs. The two lawsuits further allege that for some workers, the working conditions were so intolerable they felt they had no choice but to quit.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment, harassment and retaliation for opposing such behavior. The EEOC filed the two suits in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada (EEOC v. Mariscos El Puerto, Inc. and La Catrina, LLC, Case Nos. 2:23-cv-01309 and 2:23-cv-01310) after first attempting to reach pre-litigation settlements through its conciliation processes.

The EEOC’s suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the complainants and class members as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent Mariscos and La Catrina from engaging in further discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

“The EEOC continues to see egregious sexual harassment against vulnerable low-wage workers in the restaurant industry,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District, which includes Las Vegas in its jurisdiction. “The Commission will continue to vigorously enforce anti-discrimination laws on behalf of the most vulnerable workers.”

“Employers have an obligation to prevent and address harassment in the workplace,” said Michael Mendoza, director of the Las Vegas Local Office. “To allow a work environment to fester with sexual and sexual orientation harassment is unacceptable.”

To find out more information about sexual harassment, visit the EEOC’s website: For more information on sexual orientation discrimination, visit:; and for retaliation:

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.