IHOP Settles 700,000 Dollar Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit
Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) April 19, 2019 – Popular pancake restaurant chain IHOP has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which says that multiple franchise locations in Nevada and New York were involved in the sexual harassment of and retaliation against female employees. The restaurant chain will pay $700,000 in restitution to a class of female victims.
According to the lawsuit, IHOP employees at all levels, including owners, managers, supervisors, and restaurant wait and kitchen staff continually sexually harassed female employees. The EEOC says the women were groped, touched and kissed against their will. The female workers were also subjected to lewd comments and pornography, sent pictures of male genitalia and propositioned for sex.
When the women complained about the harassment, they were punished by getting fewer hours and even fired from their jobs.
IHOP has a written policy in place which requires sexual harassment complaints be filed in writing with the corporate office within 72 hours of the incident. The EEOC claims that this policy exacerbated the issue by discouraging victims of sexual harassment from reporting and allowing local management to not act against harassers. Essentially, this relieved several levels of management of responsibility for sexual harassment in the restaurants and encouraged harassers because they knew they would not be reprimanded.
In addition to being required to compensate the victims, IHOP must also eliminate the 72-hour reporting policy, create a human resources department, provide management with sexual harassment and civility training, and hire a third party to oversee compliance.
“Everyone deserves to be safe and respected at work,” said Betsy Havens, Executive Director at Los Angeles law firm Strong Advocates. “Sexual harassment cannot be tolerated. It is everyone’s responsibility.”
Been the victim of workplace sexual harassment or retaliated against for complaining about it, please contact an experienced legal team that can help you. Strong Advocates can be reached HERE.
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