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PRESS RELEASE
5-29-18

Burger King Franchisee to Pay $55,000 To Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Suit

Male Manager Harassed Female Employee, Federal Agency Charged

CHICAGO - Burger King franchisee Heartland Food LLC, of Downers Grove, Ill., will pay $55,000 and furnish other 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, Heartland Food violated federal law by subjecting a female employee to sexual harassment by a male manager at a Burger King restaurant in Palatine, Ill. Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of sex. The EEOC filed its lawsuit on April 10 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago (Civil Action No. 18 C 2534) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Under the consent decree settling the suit, entered by Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, Heartland Food will pay $55,000 and furnish other non-monetary relief.

"We are gratified that vigorous enforcement on the Commission's part has led to appropriate corrective action and compensation for the victim," said Julianne Bowman, EEOC 's district director in Chicago.

EEOC Regional Attorney Gregory Gochanour noted that the settlement was negotiated before the parties engaged in extended litigation or pretrial discovery.

Gochanour said, "We appreciate Heartland Food's determination to work with the EEOC to resolve this case quickly by providing appropriate relief."

The EEOC's Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.