U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Royal Palm Beach Restaurant Subjected Women to Sexual Advances and Physical Abuse by a County Sheriff’s Deputy, Federal Agency Charged
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Royal Palm Beach restaurant violated federal law when it permitted a regular customer to sexually harass female employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Hurricane Grill and Wings’ management failed to protect its female servers from a repeat harassing customer. The customer, a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy, frequently commented on female server’s bodies, grabbed the female servers’ breasts and buttocks, as well as inviting them to join him and his wife in a ménage a trois. When the servers complained to Hurricane Grill and Wings, management failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. The EEOC says that female employees were offended and intimidated by the harassment, which included several alleged physical assaults.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. 441 S.B. LLC., dba Hurricane Grill and Wings, Case No. 9:11-cv-80766) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division after attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
“All women deserve the right to work in an environment free of sexual harassment,” said Malcolm Medley, director of the EEOC’s Miami District Office. “The EEOC will take action against employers who fail to protect the work environment from such misconduct.”
The EEOC’s Miami regional attorney, Robert E. Weisberg, added, “In these times, it is unfortunate that any woman should be forced to endure such deplorable working conditions. The EEOC will actively prosecute employers that condone such conduct.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s website at www.eeoc.gov.