An Italian restaurant in Rochester, violated federal law by subjecting two female employees to a sexually hostile work environment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Paul Dowlatt, the head chef and kitchen manager at Mr. Dominic's on Main, sexually harassed Rachel Clifford and another female employee throughout their employment. Dowlatt's conduct included inappropriate physical contact and explicit requests for sex. Further, Dowlatt made repeated sexually inappropriate, hostile, and offensive comments to Clifford and the other employee.
EEOC alleges that female employees complained about Dowlatt's abusive conduct to Mr. Dominic's owner, John Tachin, and general manager, Anthony Barbone, but the company failed to take appropriate measures to end the harassment. Ms. Clifford quit because Mr. Dominic's took no action to stop the harassment, and the other employee was fired shortly after she complained to management about Dowlatt.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace.The lawsuit seeks back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the affected emp¬loyees, as well as injunctive relief designed to remedy and prevent future sexual harassment in the workplace.
"Employers who are on notice of sexual harassment in the workplace have a clear duty to quickly put an end to the harassment," said a representative for the EEOC's New York District Office. "The EEOC will continue to hold employers accountable for failing to protect their employees from unlawful harassment. Sexual harassment in the restaurant industry, or any industry, is unacceptable. Ending sexual harassment in the workplace has always been, and continues to be, a priority for the EEOC."