Central Park Restaurant to Pay $2.2M for Sweeping Harassment

June 4, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a settlement with Central Park's Tavern on the Green restaurant of a lawsuit over harassment and retaliation of females, African Americans, and Hispanics.

As part of the consent decree, a claim fund of $2.2 million will be allocated to victims of the harassment and/or retaliation, the EEOC announcement said. The consent decree also requires that the restaurant establish a telephone hotline which employees may use to raise any discrimination complaints.

The EEOC charged that Tavern on the Green engaged in severe and pervasive sexual, racial, and national origin harassment of female, black, and Hispanic employees. The sexual harassment included graphic comments, demands for various sex acts, and groping. The racial and national origin harassment included epithets toward black and Hispanic employees and ridiculing Hispanics for their accents.

The EEOC said the restaurant also retaliated against employees for refusing to consent to and/or objecting to the harassment.

As part of the consent decree, the restaurant will distribute a revised policy against discrimination and retaliation and provide training to all employees on discrimination and retaliation.