Long John Silver’s to pay teenager $200,000 for sexual harassment
The EEOC is settling claims on behalf of a complaint filed by a teenage employee who was harassed by adult male executives. by Nadia El-Yaouti
— Mark Dillman, Florida labor attorney
OC, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, April 15, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — National seafood chain Long John Silver’s has agreed to pay $200,000 in addition to other damages to settle sexual harassment allegations brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . The case resolved by the settlement is EEOC v. LJS Opco Two, LLC d/b/a Long John Silver’s Store #70250, Civil Action No. 3:21-cv-00717, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois on June 25, 2021.
The lawsuit was filed by the EEOC on June 25, 2021. In it, the complaint detailed that a teenage girl who worked for the seafood chain in Centralia, Illinois was sexually harassed while there. -low.
The teenager says she was the victim of unwanted sexual advances from two adult male managers. Adult leaders perpetuated lewd comments and unwanted touching. The EEOC also clarifies that the two men sent sexually explicit text messages and videos to the teenager. At one point, the men even offered sexual propositions.
Such advances, which constitute sexual harassment, are a direct violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under the law, sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting harassment are prohibited.
According to the teen, after reporting the harassment, the company failed to stop it and went so far as to retaliate against the teen. The teenager says that because she reported the harassment, her hours at the restaurant were reduced.
Mark Dillman, a Florida labor attorney with the law firm of James P. Tarquin, PA, explains a company’s obligations to respond to sexual harassment complaints. “Once an employer knows or should know that an employee is experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, the employer is required by federal employment discrimination law to take prompt and effective corrective action. to end the harassment and prevent its recurrence.” Dillman continues, “Where an employer takes no corrective action, or the corrective action taken is ineffective in ending the harassment, the employer may be liable under the federal employment discrimination law for having created and maintained a sexually hostile work environment.”
On the other hand, employers can often avoid liability for sexual harassment if they respond appropriately. Again, Dillman explains, “When the corrective actions taken by the employer end the harassment and prevent the recurrence of the harassment, courts generally find that the employer is not responsible for the sexual harassment behavior because the employer has fulfilled its duty to remedy under federal employment discrimination.”
As part of the settlement, the seafood restaurant agreed to pay the teen $200,000 to settle the claims. Officials said the restaurant chain declined any pre-litigation settlement as part of a consultation process.
In addition to the monetary payment, the seafood chain agreed to implement harassment prevention policies and undergo training on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The company also agreed to publish opinions on the details of the settlement and to report any complaints of sex discrimination to the EEOC for the next two years.
A spokesperson for Long John Silver’s said “the company’s policies, procedures and training programs are designed to protect employees” and that they “do not tolerate harassment”. The statement continued: “We were extremely disappointed to learn of the allegations that led to this settlement. We worked closely with the EEOC and local crew members to investigate and take corrective action.
The restaurant went on to explain that the two managers behind the sexual harassment are no longer with the business.
Gregory Gochanour, Regional Attorney for the Chicago District Office of the EEOC, shared in a statement, “We salute the courage of the young woman who has come forward to report this harassment. No woman should be forced to work in this kind of environment, and her willingness to come forward has helped protect other vulnerable young women from the same treatment.
James P. Tarquin, PA
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