Subway Franchise Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $55,000
SKMATCH, Inc a franchise for a Subway restaurant pays $55,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The EEOC also alleged the creation of hostile work environment because of what happened to two female employees. Published accounts allege that the male assistant manager at the Subway store where Helena Miller worked, subjected her to repeated sexual comments, sexual propositions and name calling and sexual touching.
Miller was only 18 years old at the time she was sexually harassed, and the assistant manager who harassed her was 28. Miller complained to other managers about the sexual harassment but no action was taken in response to her complaints. The harassment was so intolerable that Miller was forced to quit her job in order to avoid being harassed. When an employee quits their job because of discrimination or sexual harassment it is referred to as a constructive discharge. This type of behavior by a member of management not only cost the company money but also bad publicity which will probably cost it customers.
“All workers have the right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment,” says EEOC attorney Lynette Barnes, “No one should have to put up with sexual comments or touching in their place of work.”
In Chicago I am seeing an increase in the number of workers at fast-food type restaurants who are alleging sexual harassment by older supervisors. It is very important for owners to make sure their employees are properly trained on how not to harass employees and for the younger employees to know they can report sexual harassment or other hostile conduct without fear of being terminated.