1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. Prosper Chili’s Grill and Bar to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Press Release 11-14-2023

Prosper Chili’s Grill and Bar to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Restaurant Settles Federal Charges It Failed to Protect Young Workers From Hostile Environment

DALLAS – Brinker International Payroll Company L.P., doing business as Chili’s Grill & Bar Restaurant in Prosper, Texas, has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. Under the terms of a court-approved consent decree resolving the case, the employer will pay $75,000 to two female teenage employees and is required to take specific steps to ensure a safer workplace environment by implementing more effective processes to prevent and respond to concerns about sexual harassment.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Chili’s violated federal law when it allowed for the female employees to be subjected to a sexually hostile environment at its restaurant. The EEOC described the primary harasser as a 36-year-old male employee who frequently made vulgar sexual comments to a 16-year-old female coworker before he ultimately groped and kissed her while at work. When the female employee complained about the sexually offensive conduct, management failed or refused to take appropriate action.

The EEOC charged that instead of conducting a meaningful onsite investigation, Chili’s simply relied on a telephonic, offsite “Team Member Relations” inquiry and then took no effective action to address the harasser or the environment. The lawsuit also charged that other adult male employees repeatedly and openly made sexual remarks to the younger female employees in the presence of managers without consequences. The EEOC also alleged that employees had not been trained on the company’s anti-harassment policy, and that managers had not monitored the worksite to observe and deter the unlawful conduct.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment, and retaliation for complaining about discrimination. The EEOC filed suit, Civil Action No. 3:22-cv-02017, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.  

The consent decree settling the suit, entered by U.S. District Judge Ada Brown on November 11, 2023, prohibits future discrimination and retaliation and, in addition to the monetary relief, requires the employer to ensure that employees are regularly trained. It further requires Chili’s to provide annual training to management on discriminatory conduct in the workplace and effective responses to observed, reported, or known sexual harassment. The employer must now provide periodic reports to the EEOC with information regarding any complaints of sexual harassment at the Prosper location. Reporting to the agency will include information about each sex harassment complaint, the identities and positions of both the complainant and the harasser, date and description of each incident, and information as to the company’s human resources personnel involved, and an accounting of the remedial actions taken.

“Sexual harassment in the restaurant industry exposes teenaged employees to a warped perspective of the workplace,” said Alexa Lang, a senior trial attorney in the EEOC’s Dallas District Office, “Managers cannot simply stand by, be dismissive, or do nothing when they witness sexualized misconduct. They have a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and correct such behavior before it becomes the unhealthy culture of the workplace.”

Adriana Rodriguez, trial attorney in the EEOC’s San Antonio office added, “Teen workers are especially vulnerable to unwanted sexual remarks and inappropriate touching at work. They, like all workers, have a right to work free of discrimination and harassment with the benefit of clear and effective anti-harassment policies.”

For more information on sexual harassment discrimination, visit: More information on EEOC’s youth initiative is available at:

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