A 14 year long lawsuit centered around allegations of sexual harassment appears to be over after the company sued by workers agreed to settle. According to reports, Carrols Corp., a franchisee of the popular fast food restaurant Burger King, has agreed to pay a group of 89 workers $2.5 million as settlement for sexual harassment in the workplace.
In agreeing to settle, however, Carrols Corp. has not admitted to any wrongdoing. The ongoing case had centered around allegations that the 89 employees were subjected to situations such as unwanted touching, obscene comments and even rape while at work. According to company representatives, the decision to settle was based on considerations of further litigation costs.
As this case illustrates, sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be a problem – particularly in cases where the harassment ends up leading to a wrongful termination. According to EEOC statistics, in 2007 over 12,500 claims were filed for sexual harassment, a figure that may surprise many.
Often, a hostile work environment created by such harassment may leave an employee feeling as if they have no other options but to resign. Also, if the victims of sexual harassment complain, in some situations it may lead to a wrongful termination.
Of course, victims of such harassment should know that they have legal options to remedy the situation. Sexual harassment can take many forms, and can be perpetrated by either sex against the other – or even between people of the same sex. Aside from filing a complaint with the EEOC, a wrongful termination suit may be appropriate to recover compensation for damages incurred due to the unlawful treatment.
Source: Examiner, “Burger King sexual harassment: $2.5M for 89 females in settlement,” Tomica Bonner, Jan. 10, 2013