Steakhouse to Pay a Quarter Million Dollars to Settle EEOC Suit

December 7, 2010 ( - Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, at DC Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona, will pay $248,750 to three former male employees to settle a suit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The suit charged that male employees who worked at Fleming’s in Scottsdale, a fine dining steak house, were sexually abused by the head chef, Tod Rawson. According to a press release, the evidence gathered during the EEOC’s investigation revealed that, among other things, Rawson frequently pinched or squeezed his subordinates’ private parts and groped them from behind. He also used kitchen utensils from the restaurant to touch his victims, the EEOC said.   

Evidence uncovered during the lawsuit also revealed that several managers at Fleming’s knew what was happening well before formal charges were filed but did nothing to stop it.   

“We want the public to know that sexual harassment isn’t just about misconduct between men and women. It includes sexually abusive behavior between people of the same sex also. Regardless of your gender or anyone else’s, you don’t have to tolerate sexual harassment,” said Rayford Irvin, District Director of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, in the announcement.