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Burger King Franchisee Settles Sexual Harassment

Just last week we posted about the higher incidence of sexual harassment in the workplace experienced by teen employees. This week we're discussing a sexual harassment and retaliation settlement by one of Burger King's largest franchisees. Guess who were among the majority of plaintiffs in the harassment suit? Teen workers.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought the sexual harassment lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on behalf of 89 female Burger King employees who worked for Carrols Corporation, one of Burger King's largest franchisees.

Among the conduct that the women, including many teen workers, had to endure was obscene language, unwanted and unwelcome touching, propositions for sex acts, strip searches and rape, among others.

For some employees, the workplace harassment made their worklife completely intolerable, forcing them to quit. Others received less scheduled hours or were disciplined for made-up reasons after complaining about the sexual harassment.

Carrols Corporation has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle the harassment lawsuit. That amount is intended to cover compensatory damages and lost wages for the 89 women involved in the suit.

Carrols has also agreed to provide sexual harassment training at each of its facilities, including how to respond to complaints of workplace harassment and how to keep detailed records of any employee-reported sexual harassment.

Carrols has 574 Burger King restaurants throughout the United States and employs close to 17,000 people at these fast food operations as well as those it operates under Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana.

Source: EEOC, "Carrols Corp. To Pay $2.5 Million to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit," January 9, 2012

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