Three teenage employees at a Hawaii Panda Express asserted that they were subjected to workplace sexual harassment by a manager at the fast food eatery. They filed a lawsuit last fall alleging that a hostile work environment was created by the manager who made inappropriate comments to and contact with the female employees.
One of the women reported the unwelcome and harassing behavior only to have her hours cut and eventually be forced to resign her position. Another of the teen females also quit in order to escape the workplace sexual harassment.
Panda Express, headquartered in Rosemead, California, has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the three female employees and filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEOC). The three will split the proceeds of the suit.
The supervisor accused of creating a hostile working environment was fired shortly after the EEOC began its investigation into the women’s claims. The reason for his termination is undisclosed.
Interestingly, the teens first approached local police about the unwelcome behavior they were dealing with at work. It was one of the teen’s aunts who suggested that they contact the EEOC to put a stop to the workplace sexual harassment.
Panda Express agreed to implement training on recognizing and reporting sexual harassment for all Kauai employees as well as additional training for general managers throughout Hawaii.
Source: Fresno Bee, “Panda Express settles Hawaii sex harassment suit,” May 29, 2013