Taco Bell Sued for Sexual Harassment

July 8, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed suit against Taco Bell Corp. on behalf of a teenage boy who claims a female trainer at a Taco Bell restaurant in Plainfield, Illinois sexually harassed him and threatened him with a knife.

The Indianapolis Star said the lawsuit, which will be heard in US District Court in Indianapolis, does not name the trainer or give details about the harassment claim, but a statement by the EEOC says the trainer made offensive comments, sexual gestures, and held a knife to the Shawn Keown’s throat.

Keown filed the compliant with the EEOC in the summer of 2004. Discussions of a settlement stalled, which prompted the commission to file the lawsuit, according to the newspaper. The EEOC is seeking lost wages and compensation for emotional distress for Keown.

The EEOC has launched an outreach and public education program called Youth@Work in response to a growing number of teen sexual harassment cases.

Laurie Young, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Indianapolis district office, told the Indianapolis Star, “There are lots of young people working, and they need to be made aware of their rights and they need to be protected.”