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Red Lobster settles EEOC sexual harassment case

Red Lobster settles EEOC sexual harassment case

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reached a $160,000 settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit against Red Lobster Restaurants L.L.C., in which a manager was charged with sexually harassing three female employees.

Orlando, Florida-based Red Lobster said in a statement it had terminated the individual involved five years ago.

The agency said Monday that in addition to inappropriately physically touching the three women, the culinary manger in a Salisbury, Maryland, Red Lobster restaurant also frequently made sexually offensive remarks.

The EEOC had charged the chain with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under terms of the settlement, in addition to paying the women $160,000, the restaurant will provide training to all of its employees at that facility regarding compliance with federal antidiscrimination laws, among other provisions.

“Sexual harassment should not be tolerated by any employer,” said Spencer H. Lewis Jr., district director of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office said, in a statement. “It’s especially pernicious when a manager is the alleged harasser.”

Red Lobster said in its statement, “Red Lobster values having a diverse, safe workplace where all individuals can pursue their professional dreams. We take allegations of this nature very seriously, which is why we conducted a thorough investigation and promptly terminated the individual five years ago.

“We have no tolerance for harassment and conduct ongoing training to reinforce these values.”

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