U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Federal Agency Charged Multiple Women Were Harassed by Managers; Some Were Fired For Complaining About the Abuse
CHICAGO – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a class sexual harassment lawsuit in federal district court on September 27, 2010 against Jimmy’s Charhouse of Elgin, Inc. The suit was filed on behalf of a class of women subjected to sexually derogatory comments and names, sexual propositions, and physical touching by co-workers and managers. The suit also alleges that some of the women were terminated in retaliation for opposing and complaining about the sexually hostile work environment.
The EEOC’s lawsuit is based upon discrimination charges filed by three female employees of the Elgin, Ill., restaurant. The EEOC’s complaint alleges that Jimmy’s Charhouse violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting a class of female employees to sexual harassment and retaliation.
“Unfortunately, sexual misconduct directed against waitresses in restaurants is not uncommon,” EEOC’s Chicago Regional Attorney John Hendrickson said. “Even today there are those who expect women to have to endure such abuse in these kinds of jobs. Of course, women should not have to deal with this behavior in any job, and this agency is here to make sure they don’t have to.”
The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The lawsuit is captioned EEOC v Jimmy’s Charhouse of Elgin, Inc., N.D. Ill., No. 10 C 06181, and has been assigned to District Judge Milton Shadur and Magistrate Judge Cox. The EEOC’s litigation of the case will be led by Trial Attorney Jeanne Szromba and Supervisory Trial Attorney Diane Smason.
The EEOC’s Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.