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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
6-22-12

St. Louis Restaurant Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Villa Galleria  Subjected Employee to Abuse by Assistant Supervisor, Agency Charges

ST. LOUIS – A St.  Louis restaurant will pay $23,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual  harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  (EEOC), the agency announced today. 

In  its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Villa Galleria allowed employee Edwonder  Hobson to be subjected to sexual harassment by Brian Jones, an assistant  supervisor.  The alleged harassment  included Jones rubbing his body against Hobson’s and attempting to put his  hands up her shirt and kiss her. 

Such  alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit against Villa Enterprises  Management, Ltd, Inc., d/b/a Villa Galleria, in U.S. District Court for the  Eastern District of Missouri (Case No.4:11-cv-01528) last Sept. 1 after first  attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation  process.

In the consent decree settling the suit, besides agreeing  to pay Hobson $23,000, Villa Galleria also agreed to provide training against sexual  harassment to all management and non-management employees at its St. Louis  Galleria location.  Villa Galleria also  agreed to report internal complaints of sex harassment to the EEOC for the decree’s  18-month term.  

“Enforcing laws prohibiting sex harassment in the workplace  is at the forefront of the EEOC’s mission to eradicate unlawful employment  discrimination,” said Barbara A. Seely, Regional Attorney for the EEOC's St.  Louis District Office.   

The  EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the EEOC is  available on the agency’s website at www.eeoc.gov.