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Dining franchisee pays 450K to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit

Some Texas readers may have visited or be familiar with the Cheddar's Casual Cafe restaurant chain. An independent franchisee of the restaurant, Mint Julep Restaurants Operations LLC, is being accused of allowing sexual harassment to occur at one of its out-of-state locations. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a federal lawsuit against the franchisee to bring justice to the affected workers.

The female employees at Cheddar's were purportedly subjected to lewd language and jokes from the bar manager and the general manager. The women also claim that the managers would try to proposition them for sex and ask them for sexual favors. Allegedly, the managers even went so far as to touch the women inappropriately.

The women allegedly complained about the sexually charged environment, and the company did nothing to remedy the situation. The EEOC attempted to settle the complaint outside of court, but was not successful. The case was eventually settled for $450,000 that would be distributed among the 15 women.

As part of the sexual harassment settlement, Mint Julep will also be taking other remedial actions. These include notifying the Cheddar's employees of the settlement and allowing any other complaints to be reported to the EEOC for the next three years. Furthermore, employees will also be under surveillance by way of cameras so that the environment can be monitored, and employees will have to undergo mandatory sexual harassment prevention training. Sexual harassment is intolerable on the job or elsewhere, and aggrieved Texas employees are entitled to file complaints through the proper chain of command. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the workers may turn to the civil court system.

Source: thedailymeal.com, "Cheddar's Franchisee to Pay $450,000 in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit", Feb. 23, 2016

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