EEOC Seal

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
1-8-13

ABC Cake Shop & Bakery in Albuquerque Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment Suit for $220,000

Owner Harassed Numerous Female  Workers, Including Teens, and Forced Some Women to Quit, Federal Agency Charged

 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The ABC Cake Shop & Bakery in Albuquerque,  which is owned and operated by Early Bird Management Group, LLC, has agreed to  settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for $220,000, the agency announced today.

The EEOC's lawsuit, EEOC v. Early Bird Management Group, LLC  d/b/a ABC Cake Shop & Bakery, 11-CV-799 JCH/RDS, charged that an owner  of ABC subjected female employees, including some teenagers, to sexual  harassment.  The sexually offensive conduct  included sexual comments, innuendo and unwanted touching. The EEOC's suit also  alleged that some women were forced to quit their jobs because of the sexual  harassment.

Sex discrimination, including  sexual harassment, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court  for the District of New Mexico after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation  settlement through its concili­ation process.

At least 19 women are  expected to receive relief through the consent decree settling the suit.  In addition to the substantial monetary  relief, the decree prohibits ABC from further discriminating or retaliating  against its employees and requires it to implement policies and practices that  will provide its employees a work environment free of sex discrimination and  retaliation.  ABC also agreed to provide  the harmed women with letters of reference and apology letters.  Finally, ABCs must also provide its employees  with anti-discrimination training and notice of the settlement.

"Employers cannot sexually  harass their employees," said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill of the EEOC's  Phoenix District Office.  "They must  comply with federal law that requires them to maintain workplaces where  employees are not subjected to illegal sexual harassment or forced to quit  because of it.  Given these difficult  economic times, women should not be forced to choose between intolerable abuse  and making a living for themselves and their families."

EEOC Albuquerque Area  Director Derick L. Newton added, "We are pleased that this employer is taking  appropriate steps to assure that no further harassment occurs in its work­places.  Federal law protects a woman's right to work  without harassment because of her sex. Violations of the law will be met with rigorous enforcement by our  agency."

The  EEOC recently updated its Youth@Work website at http://www.eeoc.gov/youth/, which  presents information for teens and other young workers about employment  discrimination.  The website also  contains curriculum guides for students and teachers and videos to help young  workers learn about their rights and responsibilities in the work force.

The EEOC enforces federal  laws prohibiting employment discrimination.   Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.