Posted On: September 1, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Taco Bell Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit With EEOC For $350,000

Taco Bell Corporation will pay $350,000 to two young women to resolve a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The lawsuit alleged that Terence E. Davis, a former manager at Taco Bell, sexually assaulted a 16-year-old female employee on her first day of work. The EEOC said Davis sexually assaulted the young woman on the work premises and then tried to follow her as she fled home. The EEOC also uncovered evidence during discovery that Davis had forcibly raped another 16-year-old female employee just five months earlier.

This type of workplace misconduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual assaults as the most egregious forms of sexual harassment. The EEOC filed suit against Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell Corporation after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. Davis pled guilty in 2009 to raping both women and is currently serving two concurrent eight-year prison terms.

“Sexual harassment is always unconscionable, but this situation was especially so, given the extreme nature of the assaults and the youth and vulnerability of the victims,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru.

Taco Bell will pay a total of $350,000 under the terms of the two-year consent decree entered by Judge Bernice Donald to resolve the claims of the two harassment victims. Taco Bell will maintain a written policy against sexual harassment and will widely distribute it to all employees in Area 3082 within 30 days of the entry of the decree. The company will also conduct anti-discrimination training and posting of anti-discrimination notices.

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