Ricardo's Restaurant, Inc. pays $20,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of Dorothy Hannah. The sexual harassment complaint stated that Hannah was subjected to sexually offensive comments from the co-owner of the restaurant. Because the co-owner was doing the sexual harassment there is strict liability on the company. If the owner were not doing the harassment, the person would first have to come forward and ask for the harassment to stop before any liability would attach.
According to published accounts, the co-owner continued engaging in this unlawful conduct despite Hannah's complaints about the misconduct. He would not stop the harassment, and thought her complaints about it were funny. The severe and pervasive harassment was so intolerable, that Hannah was compelled to quit, which is called a constructive discharge. Even though this doesn't seem like much money, given her status in the restaurant, the amount is still a nice going away present. Make sure you take action if you are being victimized at work.
"The requirements of this settlement were carefully designed to protect all employees at the restaurant from harassment or retaliation." said EEOC Attorney Debra M. Lawrence