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Posted On: November 3, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Ruby Tuesday Dishes Out More Than Food and Pays $225,000 To Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Six employees of Ruby Tuesday settled their sexual harassment lawsuit for a total of $225,00 which was broken down as follows: Michelle Gydosh, $101,000, Melissa Johnson, $32,000,
Rosemary Singer, $57,000, Dawn Kovacs, $60,000 and Nicole Wallace, $5,000. According to the lawsuit General Manager Christopher Mendoza made sexually charged remarks to adult and teen female employees. Sometimes he also remarked about customers.

Former Ruby Tuesday waitress Michelle Gydosh complained that the sexually harassing environment was so intolerable that she was unable to continue working there. Five co-workers joined Gydosh in the lawsuit, with each woman making similar claims. Gydosh said that from August 2006 onward, Mendoza repeatedly made embarrassing sexual remarks about her body, such as "your breasts look good today" or "your breasts look really nice."

According to the complaint, Mendoza constantly told Gydosh that she was "hot" and that he wanted to "make a porn video" with her.

In June 2007, Gydosh became ill during her shift and a co-worker asked Mendoza if Gydosh could go home. "All she needs is a good (expletive) up her (expletive), and I'd be good for that," Mendoza replied, according to the complaint. Disgusted, Gydosh left the restaurant and submitted a written complaint through Ruby Tuesday's complaint hotline. Gydosh also complained directly to Krista Williams, regional service manager, and to Jim James, district manager. In all instances Ruby Tuesday was put on notice of the sexual harassment and hostile work environment and did nothing to stop it.

Gydosh did not return to work at Ruby Tuesday after the company refused to stop the harassment and instead filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The EEOC brought the lawsuit on behalf of the six women, claiming Ruby Tuesday subjected them to sexually explicit, insulting and derogatory comments and conduct, which created a sexually hostile and offensive work environment.

As part of the settlement Ruby Tuesday will post a notice of the decree (settlement) in the restaurant for three years, and write a new sexual harassment and complaint procedure plan. As for the Manager Mendoza he no longer works for the company. Mendoza has faced sexual discrimination claims before. In 1999, he was manager of a Denny's restaurant in Allentown, Pa. A hostess accused him of following her around the restaurant with a vibrating sex toy in his pocket, buzzing his genitals and singing to himself.

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