Burger King Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit for $2.5 Million
Carrols Corp. the owner of Burger King restaurants throughout the United States recently negotiated a $2.5 million sexual harassment settlement. The settlement resulted from a 15-year old federal lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in January 2013.
Syracuse.com reported that this was the largest case in terms of claimants ever brought by the EEOC. At the beginning of the case in 1998, one claimant grew to more than 500 claimants in 13 states. The recent settlement only covered claims for 89 female workers, many of whom were teenagers at the time. Sixteen cities or towns in New York state were sites of Burger King sexual harassment. The sexual harassment activities listed in the lawsuit included the following:
- Obscene comments
- Unwanted touching
- Genitalia exposure
- Strip searches
Retaliation was also an issue that the case addressed.
Carrols Corp. decided to settle because the costs of negotiating a settlement were more affordable than continuing to litigate. The 89 women are to receive $2.5 million in compensatory damages and lost wages. The settlement included stipulations that the restaurant chain implement best practices to increase employee awareness of anti-harassment policies and improve how it handled complaints. Many of the harassment instances in the case involved restaurant managers.
This case shows that persistence pays. Sexual harassment victims have the right to take legal action and receive compensation for damages. If you face sexual harassment in the workplace, discuss your situation with a New York employment lawyer.