When an assistant manager at the Cactus Grill was accused of sexually harassing a teenage employee by asking the 18 year old for sex, touching her and making unwelcome advances, the owner Northstar Restaurants Inc. stepped in and settled the lawsuit the former employee had filed. The same assistant manager had received another sexual harassment complaint a few months before when he made off color comments to another female employee. There was disciplinary action within the company and the assistant manager was written up.
The young woman in this case met with the HR manager of Northstar who expressed compassion and encouraged her to return to the restaurant or any other restaurants in the area if that would make her more comfortable. The former employee told the HR department representative that she did not want to return to work.
Sexual harassment cases are taken very seriously within companies who wish to be in compliance with both federal and state EEOC requirements. This means that off color comments, inappropriate touching or any other form of creating an uncomfortable workplace due to sexual advances, flirting other forms of harassment have no place on the job.
The Cactus Grill incident with the assistant manager has now cost the company $150,000 which will be paid to the ex-employee over the next 24 months. Northstar also proactively began taking steps before the settlement including terminating the assistant manager and filing him as ineligible for re-hire, and instituting a comprehensive training program for all managers within their restaurants.