GREENSBORO — The owner of a Greensboro Zaxby's must pay $30,000 to a former employee who alleged she was fired for reporting sexual harassment at the restaurant.
BCD Restaurants, a Greensboro-based company that operates the Zaxby's at West Gate City Boulevard, will pay $30,000 and provide other relief to settle the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced in a release.
The EEOC had charged that BCD Restaurants violated federal law when it subjected a female employee to a sexually hostile work environment and then fired her for complaining about the harassment.
According to the EEOC's complaint, the young 19-year-old woman at the center of the suit worked as a cashier at the Zaxby's from November 2018 to Jan. 25, 2019. The EEOC said that the restaurant's general manager made sexually inappropriate comments and requests for sex with the cashier on an almost daily basis. She complained to one of BCD Restaurants' owners. Within days, the company fired her, the EEOC said.
The alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
After first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process, the EEOC filed suit against BCD Restaurants in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
"A company's ability to provide a work environment free of harassment is dependent on its employees being able to report this sort of abuse without hesitation," Kara Haden, acting regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District Office, said in the release.
In addition to providing monetary relief for the cashier, the lawsuit decree requires BCD Restaurants to develop a policy that prohibits sex-based harassment and retaliatory conduct. It further requires BCD Restaurants to conduct annual anti-harassment training for managers, supervisors and employees.