Sexual Harassment and the Restaurant Industry

3230-EEOC_SEAL_2The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has targeted the restaurant industry as the “single largest” source of sexual harassment claims. Recent cases show a prevalence of inappropriate workplace conduct among younger, less experienced workers. A recent 2005 case suggests that when an employee complains that a co-worker physically touched her, simply warning the offending co-worker may be an insufficient response if other employees subsequently engage in similar conduct.

Before you dismiss this case as something unlikely to happen in your workplace, ask yourself:


Strauss-Kahn Arrest Leads to an Increase in Sexual Harassment Complaints

sexual harassment complaints Dominique Strauss-KahnHarassment in the workplace is an ongoing issue. Many people are wary of coming forward and making a sexual harassment complaint for fear of retaliation or being ostracized by co-workers.  Recently there have been high profile cases and in the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, an arrest.  These cases have led to an increase in the number of people willing to come forward and file complaints.

An article by Christian Fraser for the BBC reports that there have been an increasing number of sexual harassment complaints in recent months, as women are breaking their silence. The BBC article reports that perhaps that arrest of Dominique Strauss
-Kahn was a turning point for these women. Fraser writes:


Sexual Harassment Retalitation? You be the judge

Sexual harassment retaliation is a liability threat for employers.Sexual harassment retaliation is a liability threat for employers.  If an employee files a sexual harassment complaint it is important to ensure that the person filing the complaint is not demoted, fired, or otherwise penalized for filing the complaint.  It is important to know what your obligations are as an employer.  However, there are cases when claims of retaliation for sexual harassment are not valid.  The following is an example.

An Alabama store manager was sexually harassed by her first boss, who was fired after HR investigated her complaint. But then she was fired, the day after her second harassment complaint. The reason was excessive absence: She was out sick for 5 consecutive days and didn’t present a doctor’s note.

What happened

Jones was hired to manage a convenience store located in a travel plaza that also contained a gas station and a restaurant. The plaza is part of a group owned by Flying J. She started in early December 2005, but by the following March, she had complained to a lawyer that the hiring manager was sexually harassing her. The lawyer informed the employer, HR investigated, and the hiring manager was fired.


Workplace Violence Policy and the Employers’ Liability To Provide Safe Working Conditions

Although workplace violence problems are not new, they are growing in public awareness. Consequently, there are legal developments and potential liability risks that all employers face. To understand associated legal risks and issues, and ultimately create change and develop solutions to problems, one must first gain an understanding of the different types of workplace violence and the factors which may indicate potential threats.  It is also important that employers create and implement a workplace violence policy to ensure better understanding of the issue and the proper procedures to take when potential problems arise.

Types of Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is distinguished by four categories: disgruntled employees, crimes by unknown assailants, displaced domestic violence, and sexual harassment. Each presents distinctive risk factors which need to be addressed, as well as preventive measures which should also be considered and employed to decrease the likelihood of violent criminal acts. Whenever a civil action is under investigation by counsel or by an expert, categories of assailants and employer actions must be considered.


Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment Case at Prospect Airport Services

201208180613102397Few And Far Between: Court Decides Female on Male Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment Case.

The Assumption That Men Welcome Sexual Harassment Is Sex Stereotyping In Violation Of Title VII state law.

You don’t often see sexual harassment cases in which the woman is the aggressor and the man is the victim. Many people (including some judges) don’t interpret those facts to constitute sexual harassment in violation of Title VII. That’s why the recent case of EEOC v. Prospect Airport Services from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is so important.


O’Reilly in O’Trouble: Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

(CBS/AP) Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly said Thursday he and a former producer of his talk show have agreed to settle their legal dispute over hjudge-noter allegations of sexual harassment, and his accusations that she was trying to shake him down.

“This brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I will never speak of it again,” he said on his talk show, “The O’Reilly Factor.”


Another Sexual Harassment Lawsuit for Brett Favre


a judge hand striking a gavel over a table

It’s taken the majority of the season, but the National Football League has finally come to a decision on the Brett Favre case. Favre, who is alleged to have sexually harassed former Jets employee and Playboy centerfold Jenn Sterger, was the subject of a months-long investigation regarding allegations of unwanted sext messages, pictures, and other gross things that might have violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy throughout the 2008 season. Brett Favre has been fined $50,000 by the NFL for his refusal to cooperate fully with the investigation regarding Jenn Sterger’s accusations.


Mitsubishi Motors Settles Largest Harassment Case in History

Mitsubishi Motors Logo

NORMAL AND CHICAGO, ILL. — Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, Inc. (MMMA) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that they have reached a $34 million settlement, subject to court approval, that resolves all claims in the lawsuit filed on April 9, 1996, by the EEOC on behalf of a class of current and former MMMA employees who were subjected to an alleged pattern and practice of sexual harassment at MMMA’s Normal, Illinois, manufacturing plant since 1990.

The terms of the settlement are in a proposed Consent Decree to be submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, and will be in effect for three years from the date of final Court approval.


Sandra Bullock’s Ex Settles HUGE Sexual Harassment Case

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A former high level, female executive with West Coast Choppers settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against Jesse James and West Coast Choppers for more than $700,000 in 2007, while he was married to Sandra Bullock … according to documents.

The woman claimed between 2006 – 2007, Jesse James repeatedly made sexual advances, which allegedly included sexual acts.


Oops! Did She Do It Again? (Britney Spears Sexual Harassment Claim)

Bodyguard talking into earpiece

LOS ANGELES – Britney Spears’ ex-bodyguard is suing the pop star for sexual harassment and emotional distress, claiming she subjected him to naked romps and verbal abuse.

The lawsuit, first reported by, comes several months after Fernando Flores quit working for the superstar.

In his Wednesday filing, Flores claims Spears made “repeated unwanted sexual advances” toward him, summoned him to her room “for no other purpose” than to expose her naked body and engaged in sex acts in his presence.

It alleges that during an undated trip to see the movie “Alice in Wonderland,” Spears swore at Flores and berated him in public when he encountered a delay fetching her drink.


Ines Sainz Sports Sexual Harassment, or was she “asking” for it?

Two Corporate Men Staring and Gossiping about their Female Colleague and Sports Sexual Harassment

This article on Hubpages discusses Ines Sainz, a sports reporter and the issues she faced when she was visiting the New York Jets locker room.  It brings up some very interesting topics related to sports sexual harassment.
“Not sure what to think about this story. I searched through my local paper and there was nada. However, on CBS, there was and Ines Sainz, the sexy sport reporter for Mexico’s Azteca TV, the hot tamale was being interviewed about the sexual harassment charges against members of the NY Jet football team that occurred while she was in their locker room.”

“Step back. There is no doubt she is attractive, sexy, and she likes the attention. Marilyn Monroe was no different. Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, and a host of other women then and now like dressing to get attention to fulfill some need. Not only do men look and desire, but so do some women, although it may not be apparent. Heck, my own mom, in her prime, turned a lot of people’s head when she was dressed to kill. She knew it because she told me and my Dad was not happy about it.”


Brett Favre NFL Investigation is About Sexual Harassment


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From the moment the league announced that it was investigating the allegation that former Packers, Jets (now Vikings) quarterback Brett Favre sent voice messages and photos to a former Jets in-house sideline reporter, the reason for the league’s zeal was obvious.

The NFL is concerned about sexual harassment in its league.

An excellent summary of the status of the situation in Tuesday’s SportsBusiness Daily includes the key quote from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello: “It’s a totally different world with the Internet. Information and videos that never once existed are the new reality and the new news. But our issue here is the conduct of our employees and the question of whether this is a case of sexual harassment.”