U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Settles Federal Charges Female Employee Was Sexually Harassed, Then Transferred and Denied Promotional Opportunity Because She Complained
Bojangles’ Restaurants, Inc., a Delaware corporation operating in Greensboro, North Carolina, has been ordered to pay $20,000.00 and provide other relief as part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to resolve a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit.
The EEOC’s lawsuit alleges that a female team member at a Bojangles fast food restaurant in Greensboro was subjected to severe sexual harassment from March 2020 to June 2020 by the restaurant’s general manager, who made numerous sexual remarks and inappropriately touched and grabbed her. The employee was then denied the opportunity to participate in a management training program and was transferred to a different location as retaliation after complaining about the general manager’s conduct.
This type of alleged behavior is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and prohibits retaliation against employees who oppose sexual harassment.
Employees have a right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers cannot tolerate such conduct or allow managers to retaliate against employees for reporting the harassment.
The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bojangles’ Restaurants, Inc., Civil Action No.: 1:22-cv-00739) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.
As part of the two-year consent decree, which applies to specific restaurants, Bojangles is required to pay $20,000.00 in damages to the affected employee, train managers and employees on sexual harassment, refrain from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, including in the administration of management training programs, and refrain from retaliating against employees who complain of sexual harassment.
Bojangles has also agreed not to rehire the offending manager. “Employees have a right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace,” said Melinda C. Dugas, regional attorney for the Charlotte District. “Employers cannot tolerate such conduct or allow managers to retaliate against employees for reporting the harassment.”