Restaurant's Owner Sexually Harassed and Retaliated Against Female Employee, Federal Agency Charged
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Rainbow Tree LLC, doing business as Persian Room Fine Dining, has agreed to pay $65,000 and provide other significant relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Persian Room violated federal law when one of its owners sexually harassed employee Samantha Labrado and then retaliated against her when she rejected his advances and complained about his conduct. Persian Room fired Labrado the same day she complained to her managers about the sexual harassment.
Persian Room's alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex as well as retaliation for engaging in protected activity. The EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. Rainbow Tree LLC d/b/a Persian Room Fine Dining No. 2-19-CV-5047-PHX-CDB, in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its pre-litigation conciliation process.
Under the four-year consent decree signed by Magistrate Judge Camille Bibles, Persian Room will pay $65,000 to Labrado. In addition to the monetary relief, Persian Room will issue Labrado an apology and modify its policies to clearly and unambiguously bar sex discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. It will also train its line staff and management level officials annually on federal laws against discrimination. The consent decree also prohibits the owner involved from traveling alone with an employee.
"We are pleased with the resolution of this case, and with Persian Room's commitment to improve its policies and practices through this consent decree," said EEOC Phoenix District Office Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill. "We are deeply concerned, however, that sexual harassment and retaliation continue to infect so many workplaces. Employers must take affirmative steps to protect employees from sexual harassment and retaliation, be it from coworkers, managers or owners."
Elizabeth Cadle, district director of the EEOC's Phoenix District Office, added, "More than 53% of the charges the EEOC receives allege retaliation. We encourage employers to focus more attention on ensuring that employees and applicants brave enough to oppose discrimination are not punished for their bravery."
The EEOC's Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and part of New Mexico.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.