Cheesecake Factory Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
The Cheesecake Factory settles a sexual harassment lawsuit for an undisclosed amount of money. This particular Cheesecake Factory is located in Woodland Hills. According to already published accounts Vanessa Lopez alleged her supervisors sexually harassed her and then fired her for complaining. When someone is fired for complaining about sexual harassment it is referred to as retaliation. In Illinois if you are the victim of sexual harassment or retaliation you can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). This type of activity happens all too often. A person complains about sexual harassment and then a negative job action follows--in this case her termination. And the most troubling aspect of this is that the person who did the sexual harassment continues to work for the company.
Lopez started working at the Cheesecake Factory when she was 18, and was a good employee for three years prior to complaining about sexual harassment. In her sexual harassment complaint Lopez alleges general manager David Allen made inappropriate comments about Lopez's appearance, her body and even her scent. To make matters worse, he began touching her and sending her unwanted text messages. When she told him to stop her laughed and did not stop. Apparently he wasn't the only one that engaged in sexual harassment, she also claimed the executive kitchen manager Anastacio Rodriguez touched her. The company claims they fired her for issues unrelated to the sexual harassment claim. They allegedly caught her on video stealing tips that belonged to another colleague from the tip jar. I am always suspect about such claims and wonder why there wasn't a police report or why they would settle a case if they had such good evidence.