According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) recent press release, a franchisee of Dairy Queen has finally agreed to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against it.
The settlement agreement was made between YS&J Enterprises, Inc., the company that manages the Dairy Queen restaurant in Winston-Salem’s Hanes Mall.
As agreed upon, the company will pay a total of $17,000.00 and will provide other significant relief to settle the lawsuit raised by the EEOC on behalf of an 18-year-old former employee of Dairy Queen.
Under the said lawsuit, the EEOC claims that from March 2009 until August 23, 2009 when Chastity Hill-Cox was fired, she suffered from sexual harassment at her workplace.
Hill-Cox claimed that a male cashier repeatedly subjected her to sexual gestures and comments and often talked about his sexual encounters. Also, there were some instances when the cashier would call her sex-based names like “b___h” and “p___y.”
Subsequently, Hill-Cox reported the matter to the restaurant management but the latter failed to stop the harassment until her mother called for help from the police. Unfortunately, when the police arrived at the restaurant, Hill-Cox was fired right in the presence of the police and was told by the manager that she was causing too many problems for the company.
As it is, sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about workplace harassment is a clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
As the agency’s standard protocol, aside from paying the monetary relief, the company is further required to conduct anti-discrimination and harassment training for its managers and supervisors. Also, the company is required to post a notice about the settlement and to report future harassments and retaliations complaints before the EEOC.
The redistribution of policy prohibiting sexual harassment and retaliation to employees is also included in the agreement’s terms and conditions.
Meanwhile, a Los Angeles labor lawyer claimed that although an 18-year-old is considered as of legal age under the law, people belonging to the said age bracket should nevertheless be given proper care and respect since they are still vulnerable and could be prone to traumas. Moreover, employers should note that anyone at any age doesn’t deserve such kind of treatment in the workplace.