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IHOP franchise settles sex discrimination class-action suit for $1 million

By Leeds Brown Law | December 7, 2012

The owner of six franchised IHOP restaurants in New Mexico has agreed to settle a class sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for $1 million. Business Insurance reported that the EEOC alleged that Lee Broadnax general manager of the restaurants, subjected female employees to sexually offensive conduct, including sexual comments, innuendo and unwanted touching. The lawsuit was filed in September 2011 against Fahim Adi, owner of the restaurants. After complaints were made about Broadnax’s behavior, IHOP failed to take reasonable measures to prevent and promptly correct sexual harassment allegations, according to court documents. The EEOC claimed the women, including some teenagers, were subjected to pervasive sexual comments and innuendo and unwelcome touching or attempted touching of their bodies, which created a hostile work environment for them. The $1 million settlement will be divided among at least 22 women. The restaurant owner will also provide its employees anti-discrimination training and notice of the settlement.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment.

In the workplace, there are two common types of sexual harassment. The first is known as quid pro quo harassment. This is a situation that may be a one-time occurrence or involve repeated behavior that requires one person to tolerate some form of sexual harassment in order to get a job, keep a job, get a raise or promotion, or to receive some other benefit. This harassment can come from a prospective employer, a current employer, a manager or supervisor, or a co-worker. The sex and sexual orientation of your harasser does not matter.

The second situation that gives rise to sexual harassment claims is the hostile work environment. Hostile work situations involve repeated behavior that is abusive or offensive, or that interferes or alters the victims’ ability to perform their job. Employers that foster or otherwise allow these conditions to continue can be found liable for the conduct of the offending employees. In either situation, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and many state-level anti-discrimination and sexual harassment statutes prohibit sexual harassment provide victims with a means of pursuing and obtaining justice.

At Leeds Brown Law, PC, our reputation as leaders in the areas of employment discriminationcivil rights and sexual harassment law stems from the extensive experience and success our lawyers have had with such cases. We have achieved that success through hard work, devotion to our clients and a commitment to maintaining the highest standards of professional responsibility and ethical conduct. For more information, contact Leeds Brown Law at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation or visit LMBLaw.com

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