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Houston restaurant failed to respond to sexual harassment claims

In 2007, a young woman was hired as a supervisor at a Houston-area Luby's restaurant. Even though she was not as old as many people in management positions, her employer saw her talent and gave her an opportunity to succeed. Unfortunately, her expectations of a supportive and healthy workplace fell short.

Soon, the woman encountered intense, unwanted advances from her boss, the restaurant's general manager. The quid pro quo sexual harassment became so serious, that the manager said he would buy the woman a car and pay her rent if she would oblige his requests. The woman repeatedly refused her boss' inappropriate requests.

Things only got worse for the restaurant employee: The manager intentionally reduced her hours, so she would leave the company. In fact, the general manager reportedly told one of the associate managers that he planned to do this in order to retaliate against his employee. Shortly thereafter, the woman was suspended for no apparent reason and was fired.

Now, the former restaurant employee is taking a stand. She recently filed a suit against Luby's Corp. in the Southern District of Texas court system. According to the suit, the company did not do enough to protect its employees from sexual harassment. The young woman is seeking damages for the emotional distress caused by the unfair treatment and subsequent wrongful termination.

Employees have a right to expect that management will create a safe and welcoming work environment. When employers fail to do enough to respond to harassment in the workplace, employees may have the right to seek compensation under the provisions of 1964's Civil Rights Act. The hope is that this woman will be able to move her case through the court and receive the justice she deserves.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Woman says Luby's failed to stop manager's harassment," John Suayan, Aug. 28, 2012

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