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Atlanta Employment Law Attorney / Blog / Employment Law / Georgia Restaurant Pays $56,500 to Settle Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Georgia Restaurant Pays $56,500 to Settle Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against RSPS Holdings and SRS Milledgeville, both of which are franchisors of the popular barbeque restaurant Shane’s Rib Shack. As part of the agreement that settles the lawsuit, the companies will pay the employee $56,500 and provide other relief.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the companies violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when they subjected a teenage female employee to sexual harassment at its Milledgeville, GA location. Further, the EEOC contends that they fired the employee after she complained about the harassment in an act of retaliation.

The EEOC alleged that the employee, who was a college freshman at the time, was sexually harassed by an older male manager from September to December 2021. According to the lawsuit, the manager made unwanted comments daily about the teenager’s physical appearance and made known his romantic feelings for her. He also spread false sexual rumors about the female employee and cornered her in areas of the restaurant where there were no surveillance cameras to demand a hug or some other form of attention before he would allow her to pass.

Once the female employee complained about the harassment to her supervisor, the employee claims that the supervisor took no action to quell the conduct. Instead, the restaurant terminated her employment shortly after the last time she complained, providing no plausible pretext for firing her.

The settlement decree 

A federal court approved a two-year consent decree against the restaurant. The decree stipulates that the company will pay the employee $56,500 to settle the suit and agree to revise and distribute their anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies. They will also have to post a notice in the workplace informing employees of the settlement and provide specialized training to all supervisors, managers, and employees. Further, the company will provide the EEOC with reports regarding any future complaints regarding sexual harassment or retaliation including a description of each employee’s allegations and the companies’ response to those allegations.

Sexual harassment in the workplace 

Once an employee reports another employee or a supervisor to management for sexual harassment, the company must take steps to ensure that the conduct doesn’t continue. This means formally reprimanding the employee who committed the sexual harassment and ensuring that they’re safe from future harassment. In this case, the company retaliated against the employee by firing her for reporting the harassing behavior. The EEOC filed a lawsuit on her behalf and won a settlement.

Talk to an Atlanta, GA Sexual Harassment Attorney Today 

The Forsythe Law Firm, LLC represents the interests of employees who have faced sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace. Call our Atlanta employment lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin investigating your case right away.



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