A former rooftop manager at RARE Bar & Grill on Lexington Avenue in New York filed a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit on Thursday against the restaurant.
Scott Nitche, who was hired in October 2011, claims that in late September 2012, several female employees reported to him that the Ground Floor Manager, Val Corvetto, was subjecting them to a sexually hostile work environment that included repeatedly touching them without their consent, kissing and holding them without their permission, ordering them to drink socially with him, leering at him, and making unwanted comments about their bodies and their attire.
On September 23, 2012, Nitche alleges that he complained to his boss, Michael Capadonna, about the sexual harassment complaints he had been receiving from the female employees.
Although Capadonna told Nitche that Corvetto’s behavior would be investigated and addressed, Nitche claims that the company did not investigate the sexual harassment allegations.
None of the female employees were allegedly moved from Corvetto’s supervision, and Corvetto allegedly continued to sexually harass female staff members.
Nitche claims that RARE Bar & Grill decided to fire him in retaliation for submitting the sexual harassment complaint. The restaurant allegedly hired a replacement rooftop manager in mid-October 2012.
On November 25, 2012, Nitche alleges that he saw an email confirming that the restaurant had hired a new manager to replace him. The following day, Nitche claims he met with Douglas Boxer, the founder and owner of RARE Bar & Grill, to inform him that replacing him constituted unlawful retaliation. Boxer allegedly responded by immediately firing Nitche.
On January 4, 2013 Nitche filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the EEOC issued a “Right to Sue” letter on June 25, 2013.