Chipotle Mexican Grill, a Mexican-style fast food chain, has agreed to pay $70,000 in damages and furnish other relief in order to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, a male Chipotle crew person repeatedly made sexually offensive remarks about the body of a female Chipotle service manager at its International Plaza Mall restaurant in Tampa. The harassment escalated to inappropriate touching, including the crew person thrusting his genitals toward the service manager’s face, the EEOC charged. Having already repeatedly reported the harassment to the store’s management, the service manager told the general manager that she planned to report the sexual assaults to corporate headquarters. Within three days, she was terminated, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex and retaliation against workers who object to such discrimination as well as retaliation for complaining about it.
In addition to the $70,000 in damages, the two-year consent decree settling the lawsuit requires Chipotle to institute policies and practices that prevent and eliminate sexual harassment in its workplace, such as amending its sexual harassment reporting policy and procedures; conducting training on Title VII; and posting a notice about the lawsuit.
“The EEOC commends Chipotle for quickly reaching a resolution that both compensates the harmed employee and provides for policy changes designed to protect other employees from sexual harassment,” said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Miami District.
If you work in the restaurant industry and feel you have been a victim of sexual harassment, please reach out to the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500 to schedule a free consultation.