Chipotle Could Have Avoided Sexual Harassment Lawsuit, Says Los Angeles Employment Attorney

Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) December 11, 2017 – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit in California against Chipotle after a female supervisor allegedly sexually harassed her subordinate and retaliated against him after he reported the misconduct.

According to the complaint, a female supervisor subjected a 22-year-old shift manager at a Chipotle in San Jose, California, to verbal and physical sexual harassment. In 2016, 16.6 percent of sexual harassment charges filed with the EEOC were brought by male workers.

Betsy Havens, a Los Angeles employment attorney, said the company seems to have handled the situation poorly.
“Too often, employers fail to take claims of harassment of male workers by female workers and bosses seriously,” Havens said. “This is a terrible mistake. Every allegation of sexual harassment needs to be promptly and fully investigated, and a large corporate chain like Chipotle should know better.”

The EEOC claims that the supervisor said sexually-charged statements and made crude propositions to the shift manager, such as telling him that she wanted to suck his genitals, watch him have sex with his girlfriend and engage in a “threesome.” The suit states that the supervisor kept a “sex scoreboard” in the office to keep track of the coworkers’ sex lives, and often discussed her own sex life with the employees. She also frequently grabbed, slapped or groped the shift manager’s privates.

The shift manager reported the general manager’s behavior to upper management. Subsequently, the general manager continued to harass the employee, according to the EEOC, and even retaliated against him by instructing other workers not to speak with him.

“If true, this lack of oversight and follow-up was the company’s downfall,” Havens said. “No matter how well-trained, some workers will be accused of sexual harassment. When a credible allegation comes to upper management, they should immediately do everything in their power to protect the workers.”

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for the harassment endured by the young shift manager. The EEOC also seeks injunctive relief to help prevent further incidents of sexual harassment and retaliation from occurring at Chipotle.

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