Burger King Franchise Will Pay $60000 To Resolve An Eeoc Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Harassment And Retaliation

Federal Agency Charges Employer with Allowing Abuse of Pregnant Employee and Firing Her After She Complained

N.C.’s ASHEVILLE – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that North Georgia Foods, Inc., a Georgia-based business that owns several Burger King locations, including one in Murphy, North Carolina, has agreed to pay $60,000 and provide other relief to resolve a sex harassment, retaliation, and pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.

The EEOC filed a complaint alleging that a team member at North Georgia Foods’ Murphy, North Carolina site was sexually harassed by a male assistant manager from at least August 2018 until around July 2019.

The harassment took the form of crude sexual remarks, intimidation, and unwanted sexual contact. A team member often voiced complaints and requested to not be assigned to the male assistant manager alone.

In June 2019, North Georgia Foods entirely removed the team member from the schedule rather than taking measures to halt the harassment. The business hesitated to get in touch with the team member and afterward declined to let her get her job back. The team member was allegedly subjected to discrimination as a result of her pregnancy, according to the EEOC.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which shields workers from sex-based harassment in the workplace, is allegedly violated by the claimed behavior.

After first seeking to achieve a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation procedure, the EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. North Georgia Foods, Inc, d/b/a Burger King, Case No. 1:22-cv-00049) in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

A two-year consent decree that forbids North Georgia Foods from discriminating against employees and retaliating against them in violation of Title VII served as a resolution to the lawsuit.

Additionally, North Georgia Foods is required to update its written anti-discrimination policies, post a phone number for an off-site reporting official prominently, and train staff members on how to file discrimination claims and the requirements of Title VII, including its anti-retaliation clauses.

Melinda C. Dugas, regional attorney for the EEOC, said that the case’s decision “demonstrates that employers that dismiss allegations of sex-based harassment in the workplace or retaliate against employees for claiming their rights under Title VII will be held accountable.”

By upholding federal laws that forbid employment discrimination, the EEOC promotes opportunity in the workplace. North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina’s federal employment discrimination laws are enforced by the EEOC’s Charlotte District.

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