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A staffing buyer agreed to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit and pay $350,000 to 13 female workers, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported Thursday. The staffing buyer in the settlement is La Rana Hawaii LLC, which operated Señor Frog’s, a restaurant and bar in Honolulu. The incidents of harassment and retaliation occurred between 2007 and 2012, according to the EEOC.
Staffing company Altres Inc. was also named in the lawsuit, but the staffing firm previously settled with the EEOC for $150,000 and injunctive relief that includes training for its employees, according to the EEOC. Altres provided human resource services at the time the incidents allegedly took place.
In its lawsuit, the EEOC alleged the managers subjected employees to sexual comments, language and advances, and unwelcome physical contact. The agency further alleged that some employees were subjected to retaliation after complaining about the alleged harassment. The EEOC also alleged that the women were also treated less favorably than men in the workplace: they were passed over for promotions, assigned less favorable shifts and earned less than their male counterparts.
“Our young workers are all too often the targets of the most insidious forms of sexual harassment, which can spread like wildfire at work,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, which includes Hawaii in its jurisdiction. “Employers who fail to fulfill their moral and legal obligation to prevent and immediately stop the sexual abuse of its young workers will answer to the EEOC.”