Burger King Settles on Teen Sexual Harassment Charge

March 10, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Burger King Corporation will pay $85,000 and furnish significant non-monetary relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.

The EEOC charged in its lawsuit that Kathleen Joyner was subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment from approximately December 2006 to March 2007 by the general manager of the Clemmons, North Carolina-based restaurant where she worked. According to the announcement, the harassment included unwelcome touching, overt sexual advances, and frequent requests for sexual favors.

The suit further asserted that Joyner complained about the harassment to her assistant managers, who failed to take appropriate action to stop the unlawful conduct. The alleged harassment occured when Joyner was 18.

The consent decree also provides for injunctive relief preventing Burger King from discriminating against any person on the basis of sex or any other protected group under Title VII, and from retaliating against anyone who complains about such discrimination. The decree also requires Burger King to post its non-discrimination, harassment and equal employment opportunity policy in its Clemmons restaurant, where the harassment occurred, as well as each of its Winston-Salem restaurants, as well as provide anti-harassment training to all managers and shift coordinators at the Clemmons restaurant and at the Winston-Salem Burger King where Joyner’s general manager was transferred.

Burger King was also ordered to review its anti-sexual harassment policy with each new employee at those restaurants and provide the EEOC with semi-annual reports of all written and verbal sexual harassment complaints received from employees at its Clemmons restaurant.