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Sexual Harassment Victim Unlawfully Fired After Employer Ignored Her Complaints EEOC Lawsuit Claims

Businessman putting hand on the shoulder of female employee in office at work. She unhappy and feeling displeased with inappropriate actions his boss. Concept of sexual harassment in workplace

On April 22, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release announcing that it has filed a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against Wrig Management, LLC, d/b/a Locos Grill and Pub (Locos Grill). On April 22, 2020, the EEOC filed the case, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Wrig Management, LLC, d/b/a Locos Grill and Pub, Case No. 1:20-cv-1707, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia after initially trying to resolve the case without the necessity of litigation through its lawfully required conciliation process.

The EEOC has filed the sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) on behalf of a former employee of Locos Grill, Anya McDuffie (McDuffie). Under Title VII, it an unlawful employment practice for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of gender. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination made unlawful by Title VII. Title VII also protects employees from retaliation when they complain about perceived sexual harassment in the workplace.
The EEOC alleges that Locos Grill violated Title VII by allowing McDuffie to be subjected to hostile work environment sexual harassment. The EEOC further alleges that Locos Grill violated Title VII by terminating McDuffie in retaliation for complaining about the sexually hostile work environment. In this article, our Marion County, Florida sexual harassment victims’ lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations against Locos Grill.

EEOC Alleges Sexual Hostile Work Environment

On June 5, 2017, McDuffie began working for Locos Grill as a cook. Almost immediately after her employment began, a male cook started sexually harassing McDuffie. On June 12, 2017, McDuffie reported the sexual harassment to a supervisor. Locos Grill, according to the EEOC, took no action in response to McDuffie’s complaint. On July 14, 2017, the harasser approached McDuffie from behind, pressed his pelvis and penis against McDuffie’s buttocks, and gyrated his hips against her buttocks while she cooked. On July 22, 2017, the harasser followed McDuffie to the restroom while she was cleaning and asked if she wanted him to join her in the restroom to show her what he was “working with.” On July 29, 2017, the harasser against approached McDuffie from behind while she was cooking. McDuffie loudly told the harasser to stop in front of the restaurant’s manager.

Sexual Harassment Victim Complaints About Harassment

On July 31, 2017, McDuffie approached a Human Resources representative who was visiting the restaurant and told the representative that she was being subjected to verbal and physical sexual harassment by a co-worker. McDuffie also told the representative that she had previously reported the harassment to a supervisor and that she had been ignored. The representative provided McDuffie with forms to complete regarding her sexual harassment complaint. On August 3, 2017, McDuffie returned the forms.

As she was never told the results of any investigation regarding her sexual harassment complaint, McDuffie met with the Human Resources Representative on September 14, 2017. The representative told McDuffie that there was no evidence to support her complaint and encouraged McDuffie to resign. After McDuffie told the representative that she did not want to lose her job, the representative asked McDuffie, “What do you want me to do about it?”

Sexual Harassment Victim Removed From Schedule

Ultimately, McDuffie and the Human Resources representative agreed that McDuffie and the harasser would no longer work the same shift and that Locos Grill would counsel the harasser regarding his inappropriate behavior. Locos Grill then sent McDuffie home and did not allow her to complete the remainder of her shift. Locos Grill, according to the EEOC, never implemented the agreed-upon remedy. Instead, Locos Grill never again scheduled McDuffie to work. From September 15, 2017 and September 20, 2017, McDuffie repeatedly contacted Human Resources and the restaurant’s manager regarding returning to work, but she was ignored.

Protecting Sexual Harassment Victims

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States charged with interpreting and enforcing federal employment laws prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In enforcing the federal anti-discrimination laws, the EEOC is also authorized by federal law to file lawsuits on behalf of sexual harassment and retaliation victims. In a press release issued by the EEOC on April 22, 2020 regarding the case, the Director for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office, Darrell Graham, stated that “employees should not have to face sexual harassment from co-workers, and we at the EEOC will continue to vigorously enforce the federally protected rights of employees to speak out against this kind of abuse in the workplace without fear of retaliation.”

Consult With Ocala Sex Harassment Victims’ Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida sexual harassment victims’ attorneys been fighting for the rights of sexual harassment victims for more than two decades. If you have worked in a sexually hostile work environment or have questions about your rights under the federal anti-discrimination laws as a sexual harassment victim, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida sexual harassment victims’ lawyers. Our employment and labor law attorneys take hostile work environment sexual harassment cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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