U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
New Suit Also Alleges Retaliation and Unlawful Discharge of Server Who Complained About Treatment
PHOENIX — Casey Jones Grill discriminated against a female server by subjecting her to sexual harassment and sex-based derogatory name-calling, retaliation, and unlawful discharge, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today in federal court. Casey Jones Grill, a bar and restaurant operated by Los Muchachos, LLC, is located on Thunderbird Road in West Phoenix.
According to the EEOC’s suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (EEOC v. Los Muchachos, L.L.C. d/b/a Casey Jones Grill, Case No. 2:11-cv-01898-FJM), the server and other female employees were routinely called harassing and vulgar names, including “stupid bitch” and “f-ing princess,” and were regularly subjected to unwelcome sexually-offensive remarks. The server was also asked to dance on a “stripper pole” in the owner’s office, the agency claims. The complaint further alleges that Casey Jones Grill retaliated against the server when she complained about the treatment and ultimately discharged or constructively discharged her. In addition, the agency alleges that the restaurant failed to maintain records as required by federal law.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, protects workers from discrimination based upon gender, including sexual harassment and retaliation against employees who report harassment. The statute also imposes liability on employers who create an environment so hostile that an employee is constructively discharged. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The lawsuit seeks lost wages and compensatory and punitive damages for the server, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent discriminatory practices in the future. This suit follows an earlier suit, EEOC v. Los Muchachos, L.L.C. d/b/a Casey Jones Grill, Case No. 2:10-cv-02079-TMB (D. Ariz.), which alleged similar violations of Title VII on behalf of additional female employees.
“There is so much news about vulgarity and a lack of civility in society, but employers cannot allow such harassing, demeaning conduct toward women to permeate the workplace,” said Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office. “Sexually degrading language, name-calling, and demands for sexual ‘entertainment’ from employees is never appropriate, and retaliating against employees who complain about such treatment is unlawful.”
EEOC’s District Director Rayford O. Irvin, added, “All employees deserve, and are entitled by law to have, a workplace free from sexual harassment and retaliation. Employees who come forward to report such conduct provide a service not only in their own interest, but in the public interest as well.”
The EEOC Phoenix District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, with Area Offices in Albuquerque and Denver.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.