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Fast Food Franchise Worker Fired for Reporting Sexual Harassment

October 18th, 2019
sexual harassment complaint

A North Carolina Zaxby’s franchise faces a lawsuit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after a worker claimed sexual harassment by the general manager led to her firing. Zaxby’s is a restaurant chain operating in the South, the majority of which are franchises. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, but the EEOC first attempted to settle the matter prior to litigation via a conciliation process. The lawsuit sought:

  • Back pay
  • Compensatory damages
  • Punitive damages

The EEOC also sought injunctive relief for prevention of future workplace harassment and retaliation.

Allegations

In November 2018, the employee began working at the Greensboro Zaxby’s as a cashier. Soon afterward, the general manager allegedly started making sexually inappropriate remarks and asked her to perform various sex acts. The general manager also reportedly grabbed her buttocks and made comments about the taste of her genitalia. According to the lawsuit, the manager asked the employee to spend the night with him at a hotel in December 2018, specifically requesting that she wear fishnet stockings. After she reported the harassment, the restaurant owner allegedly fired her. She reported the harassment on January 23, 2019 and was fired two days later.

Title VII Violation

The EEOC noted that such alleged misconduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and employers from retaliating against employees for opposing sexual harassment or other unlawful employment practices. Any employer with more than 15 employees is subject to Title VII.

Work Environment Placed at Risk

The EEOC Regional Attorney noted that a company’s ability to provide a harassment-free work environment depends on the ability of employees to report abuse without hesitation. According to the EEOC, prevention is the best tool for workplace sexual harassment elimination. The agency encourages employers to prevent the occurrence of such harassment and must make it clear to employees that such behavior is not tolerated. Employers can do this is by providing sexual harassment training, as well as setting up a system for reporting such incidents and taking immediate and appropriate actions on employee complaints.

Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Sexual Harassment Victims

If you are dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, you need the services of the experienced Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or complete an online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County, as well as Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

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