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California restaurants settle sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination lawsuits

One business that recently resolved an employment law dispute is north of Los Angeles and the other that resolved a dispute is south of us. Both California businesses recently agreed to settle lawsuits that alleged inappropriate workplace behaviors.

The restaurant north of L.A. agreed to $175,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed on behalf of both female and male kitchen staff. A fine-dining Italian restaurant about a two-hour drive south settled a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit and agreed to provide employee training and other measures to ensure an end to the prohibited workplace behavior.

The Italian restaurant just north of San Diego was sued by a woman who stated that the eatery cut her hours, and thereby dramatically reduced her income, because she was pregnant. Even after she gave birth, the restaurant refused to return her to previous server position – and then fired her.

She accused the restaurant of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

The former server will not only receive the financial compensation, but the settlement includes an agreement by the restaurant to revise its polices and procedures and to train its employees about pregnancy-related leave, discrimination and worker rights.

In the case to our north, a male cook at a Carmel restaurant said his private parts were repeatedly grabbed kitchen manager, chef and cook. When he complained about the behavior, he was told by a supervisor that “they only play.”

After the employee complained, the chef yelled and hit him, forcing him to quit his job.

A woman who worked as a dishwasher at a restaurant owned by the same parent company said she sexually harassed daily by the same kitchen manager who had harassed the male cook. She said she was also sometimes subjected to unwanted touching by the manager.

She also complained about the inappropriate behavior, but the harassment continued regardless.

The parent company will pay the two $175,000 and provide training at both eateries to prevent future harassment.

All three of these workers stood up for their rights and dignity. With the help of an attorney experienced in employment law litigation, you can, too.