Only two weeks ago, we wrote a blog discussing the epidemic of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry, and now another nauseating example is making headlines. In this case, the lawsuit details the sexual harassment of female employees.
A lawsuit filed against one of Chipotle’s Southern California locations alleges women were encouraged to wear ‘tight uniforms’ so managers could creepily stare. It gets worse. The lawsuit also claims managers used security cameras to spy on female customers they found attractive!
According to the woman (and former employee) who filed the lawsuit, managers had some unwelcome comments about her medical conditions and the size of her breasts. In one case, the woman alleges managers told her the uniform did not fit because her breasts were too big. Managers also allegedly put their hands on cold surfaces and then groped the woman’s breasts.
Obviously, this is a very bizarre case, but it represents the horrible conditions women can face working in restaurants under unethical leadership.
This lawsuit could also be a contender for the ‘horrible timing awards of 2016’, as Chipotle was recently involved in a gender discrimination case only a month ago. In the prior lawsuit, Chipotle was ordered to pay $600,000 in damages. While $600,000 isn’t much to Chipotle, the case is still bad publicity. Chipotle has also faced scrutiny over contaminated meat and temporarily shut down all of its stores shortly after an outbreak.
Should Women Facing Sexual Harassment Lawyer Up?
To answer the obvious, if women are fired or are having their labor rights threatened, it’s time to lawyer up. Sexual harassment is against California and federal laws. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects workers from sexual harassment, even in cases where workers are of the same gender.
Women who are sexually harassed at work may have legal options they are unaware exist. As we have seen in prior cases involving sexual harassment and restaurants, these businesses can be held accountable for their actions.
The Los Angeles employment law attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. can help workers affected by sexual harassment hold their employers accountable.