Famed NYC Eatery Settles Sexual Harassment Suit Brought By 22 Waiters
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, 22 male waiters were subjected to harassment based on their sex, chiefly by one male manager, over a nearly eight-year period. The misconduct included the manager groping the buttocks of the male waiters, making lewd sexual comments and attempting to touch their genitals. Many of the waiters complained to other managers and Sparks’ owners, but the harassment did not stop. Some victims of harassment suffered retaliation for complaining by being given more difficult work assignments and/or ultimately being suspended. Sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.The EEOC adds that it is "very serious" about protecting employees from same-sex harassment.