Press Release 04-22-2020

Locos Grill & Pub Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Line Cook Subjected to Hostile Work Environment and Then Fired for Reporting It, Federal Agency Charges

ATLANTA – A restaurant management company operating Locos Grill & Pub, The Derby, Tavern House, and Central City Tavern brands of restaurants in Georgia violated federal law by subjecting a female employee to a sexually hostile work environment and discharging her in retaliation for her complaints about the sexual harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it recently filed.

According to the EEOC’s suit, a male line cook working at the Locos Grill & Pub in Sugar Hill, Ga., made sexual advances toward a female line cook. The male cook made obscene physical displays to her and made indecent propositions, the EEOC said. The female cook reported the sexual harassment to the company. After receiving her complaints, Locos Grill & Pub never again scheduled her for work, the EEOC said.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and prohibits employers from firing, demoting, harassing or otherwise retaliating against employees because of complaints of discrimination or harassment. The EEOC filed suit against WRIG Management, LLC (Civil Action No. 1:20-cv-1707-LMM-CCB) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement via its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking back pay, front pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the employee, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future discrimina­tion.

“When the company learned of the harassment, it failed to protect its employee or correct the misconduct,” said Antonette Sewell, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “Instead, it penalized her for exercising her federally protected rights by failing to schedule her for work again. This sort of retaliation is unacceptable as well as unlawful, and the EEOC is here to fight for the rights of the victims of this sort of maltreatment.”

Darrell Graham, district director of the Atlanta office, said, “Employees should not have to face sexual harassment from co-workers, and we at the EEOC will continue to vigorously enforce the feder­ally protected rights of employees to speak out against this kind of abuse in the workplace without fear of retaliation.”

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