U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Lighthouse Restaurant Allowed Male Manager to Sexually Harass Female Employee, Federal Agency Charged
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. – A Northern Indiana restaurant violated federal law when it allowed its manager to sexually harass one of its female employees and create a hostile work environment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed yesterday.
According to the EEOC’s suit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Faros Inc., d/b/a the Lighthouse Restaurant, Civil Action No. 3:10-cv- 0407- RL), filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Faros, Inc., doing business as the Lighthouse restaurant, subjected one of its female employees to constant unwelcome sexual comments by its male manager.
The EEOC said the restaurant neither has a policy prohibiting sexual harassment, nor does it provide any sort of anti-harassment training. Further, the EEOC said, the harassing manager was the only available person to whom employees could complain about harassment.
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks compensatory damages and punitive damages for the sexually harassed female employee, as well as an injunction enjoining Faros, Inc., d/b/a the Lighthouse Restaurant, from engaging in sex discrimination and requiring it to take other measures to ensure a workplace free of discrimination for current and future employees.
“All employers need to have reasonable and effective avenues for employees to complain about sexual harassment,” said Laurie A. Young, regional attorney for EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office. “In cases when they do not, the EEOC is ready to take action to defend employees’ rights to be free from workplace abuse.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at: www.eeoc.gov.