Kaizen Restaurants, Inc., which operates dozens of Burger King restaurants in Oregon and Washington, has agreed to pay $150,000 to resolve a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The lawsuit charged that Kaizen allowed a supervisor to sexually harass a teen employee. The employee, 17 years of age, worked under these conditions for nearly two years. The employee was relentlessly pursued by her older, married supervisor with unwelcome sexual comments and touching. Kaizen will pay the employee $150,000 and will adopt a comprehensive non-discrimination policy and complaint procedure, conduct training for staff and management officials and submit semi-annual reports to the EEOC detailing any complaints of sexual harassment that may have arisen in the prior six-month period. Full article.

Sexual harassment violates Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. When investigating allegations of sexual harassment, EEOC looks at the whole record: the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. A determination on the allegations is made from the facts on a case-by-case basis. For more information: EEOC Website.

Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC, dedicates a large area of practice to employment law. Our firm has represented many workers and employees in matters of employment discrimination throughout Long Island and the New York City area. For more information, contact Leeds, Morelli and Brown, PC at 1-800-585-4658 or 516-873-9550 for a free consultation.