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Sterling Employment Law

Restaurant owner sued twice over alleged sexual harassment

Readers in Bloomfield Hills might think that sexual harassment is an aspect of a bygone era. People see it on "Mad Men," for instance, but often think it does not happen anymore because people know it is illegal, morally wrong and degrading.

Sadly, this is far from true, as a recent case goes to show. Just across the state line in Indiana, the owner of two Michigan City restaurants has been sued for the second time for sexual harassment.

The sexual harassment lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Monday against Faros Inc., the parent company of Dino's Restaurant.

The complaint alleges Dino's Restaurant tolerated its male employees' touching and making unwelcome comments towards a female employee. The EEOC also claims that when the woman complained to management, she was retaliated against and placed on "as-needed" basis, which effectively amounted to a half-time demotion.

The EEOC also sued Faros Inc. earlier over an incident stemming from its Lighthouse Restaurant, also in Michigan City. In that case, Faros is accused of permitting a male manager to sexually harass a female employee.

The EEOC will ask the court for monetary damages on behalf of the female Dino's employee and an injunction that will require Faros to take measures to prevent discrimination in its restaurants.

A representative for the EEOC's Indianapolis office, which is handling the cases, said Faros needs to do more to make sure its employees are not subjected to a hostile work environment.

A representative for Faros declined a reporter's opportunity to give comment.

Source: The Northwest Indiana Times, "Michigan City restaurant owner sued a second time over sexual harassment," August 2, 2011.

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