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Sixteen-year-old Claims She Was Harassed at Pennsylvania Mexican Restaurant


A 16-year-old girl accepted her first job at a Pennsylvania Mexican restaurant. Her excitement about her new job quickly vanished when her 19-year-old shift supervisor reportedly touched and kissed her and attempted to massage her shoulders. The girl filed a job discrimination complaint with the EEOC and told our investigators the following information.

The girl said that the shift supervisor called her at home one day to remind her to report to work, though she was not scheduled. When she arrived at work, she discovered that the shift supervisor was the only other employee in the restaurant. The girl contends that the shift supervisor then sexually assaulted her.

The girl also told the EEOC that when she reported the incident to the General Manager the next morning, the manager laughed at her and accused her of making it all up. The shift supervisor denied that he had sexually harassed or assaulted the 16-year-old, but was suspended from work the next day. The girl did not return to work.

Meanwhile, the girl reported the assault to the police. The shift supervisor admitted to the police that he had "sexual contact" with the girl. He pled guilty to "corruption of a minor" and was subsequently fired.

The EEOC filed a lawsuit against the restaurant, claiming that the restaurant violated federal law when it failed to fire the shift supervisor after the assault. In July 2003, the case settled. The terms of the settlement included:

  • A payment of $150,000 to the girl;
  • A payment of $1,500 to the EEOC to educate teen workers in the food industry about sexual harassment; and
  • A requirement that the restaurant train all of its employees about sexual harassment.

Did you know that...

  • Your company has a responsibility to investigate complaints of sexual harassment at work?
  • You can talk to the police and the EEOC if a manager sexually assaults you?