The owner/operator of a Hurricane Grill and Wings restaurant franchise in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, agreed in February to pay $200,000 to settle an EEOC sexual harassment lawsuit.
According to the EEOC, the owner of the restaurant franchise, Donald Michael Galbraith, subjected his employees to a hostile work environment by permitting female waitresses to be sexually harassed by a customer.
The EEOC alleges that several waitresses complained to Galbraith and other restaurant managers about being harassed and groped by the customer, but nothing was done to keep the customer from harassing the waitresses.
One of the waitresses claims that she was fired in retaliation after her managers discovered that she had hired a lawyer and was planning on filing a complaint with the EEOC.
Robert E. Weisberg, the EEOC’s Miami regional attorney, said, “Title VII requires an employer to prevent known sexual harassment created by other employees or customers. Hurricane Grill and Wings has a responsibility to protect their employees regardless of the status of the harasser. A high percentage of sexual harassment charges are filed by women in the restaurant industry and this decree will serve to protect the rights of a particularly vulnerable segment of the work force.”