BBQ Owner Agrees To Pay $449,000 To Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
CEO Gregory Moore of Smithfield's Chicken 'n Bar-B-Q chain agreed to pay $449,200 plus $375,780 in attorney fees to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. This may seem like large amount of money but Moore was ordered to pay $1.15 million to Jason Hallaman after a two-week jury trial. As is common in trials, many times the parties will agree to settle for a lessor amount in return for not appealing the decision. If the decision is appealed, it could take years for the person to get their money and there is always a chance the jury decision will be overturned or the award amount lowered.
According to court testimony in the case the trouble for Moore began when he fired his personal assistant Hallaman. Hallaman claims he was fired for rebuffing sexual advances. This would constitute retaliation. Several former Smithfield's employees testified that they also rejected Moore's sexual advances and were fired. Moore acknowledged at trail that he is bisexual. Moore also insisted that he fired Hallaman for poor job performance and because Hallaman forged a check. The jury didn't buy these claims.