Female Employee Was Sexually Harassed, Then Transferred and Denied Promotional Opportunity Because She Complained, Federal Agency Charges
Bojangles’ Restaurants, Inc., a Delaware corporation operating in Greensboro, North Carolina, violated federal law when it subjected a female employee to a sexually hostile work environment and then retaliated against her for complaining about it, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed yesterday.
According to the EEOC’s suit, a female team member at a Bojangles fast food restaurant in Greensboro was sexually harassed from March 2020 to June 2020. The EEOC charges that during that time period, the restaurant’s general manager made numerous sexual remarks to the employee and inappropriately touched and grabbed the employee. The EEOC’s lawsuit further charges that after complaining about the general manager’s conduct, the employee was denied the opportunity to participate in a management training program and was transferred to a different location as retaliation.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and prohibits retaliation against employees who oppose sexual harassment. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bojangles’ Restaurants, Inc., Civil Action No.: 1:22-cv-00739) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the employee, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future harassment and retaliation in the workplace.
The implementation of effective reporting procedures for sexual harassment is necessary for employers to meet their obligations under Title VII, said Melinda C. Dugas, Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District. Retaliation against employees who report sexual harassment cannot be tolerated.
Lisa Smith, SPHR, SCP
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