Female Employee Subjected to Sexual Comments by General Manager, Then Fired Because She Complained, Federal Agency Charges
GREENSBORO, N.C. - BCD Restaurants, LLC, a Greensboro, N.C.-based Zaxby's restaurant franchisee, violated federal law when it subjected a female employee to a sexually hostile work environment and then fired her for complaining about it, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC's suit, the young woman at the center of the suit worked as a cashier at the West Gate City Boulevard Zaxby's from November 2018 to Jan. 25, 2019. The EEOC charges that between approximately late November 2018 to January 25, 2019, the restaurant's general manager made sexually inappropriate comments and requests for sexual relations to the young woman on a daily or almost daily basis. The EEOC's lawsuit further charges that within days of the young woman complaining about the general manager's conduct to one of BCD Restaurants' owners, the company fired the young woman in retaliation.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who oppose sexual harassment or other employment practices made unlawful by Title VII. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (EEOC v. BCD Restaurants, LLC d/b/a Zaxby's, Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-00903), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for the young woman, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future harassment and retaliation in the workplace.
"A company's ability to provide a work environment free of harassment is dependent on its employees being able to report this sort of abuse without hesitation," said EEOC Regional Attorney Lynette Barnes. "Every time an employee complaint about harassment leads to discharge, the entire work environment is placed at risk."
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.