In the suit, the EEOC alleges that eight employees – some as young as 16 – have been put through verbal and physical sexual harassment by a male manager since 1999. The suit, filed in the US District Court in Charleston, seeks a permanent injunction as well as compensatory and punitive damages against the restaurant’s operators, Palmetto Restaurant Group LLC and Carolina Restaurant Group Inc, according to an Associated Press report.
The lawsuit was filed after other attempts to resolve the situation failed, said Bobby Simpson, regional attorney for the EEOC. He said the EEOC would try to reach an out-of-court agreement “Because of the nature of the harassment, we don’t want them to go through long, protracted litigation,” Simpson said. “We want to try to put into place some sort of relief so that this doesn’t happen again.”
“We don’t tolerate harassment of any kind in our organization. We take this matter seriously,” said Quint Graham, the president of Carolina Restaurant Group and Palmetto Restaurant Group, in response to the suit. The Palmetto Restaurant Group operates 18 restaurants in South Carolina.