Pand Enterprises to Pay $90,000 Fine for N.M. Sexual Harassment

March 10, 2006

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported it has settled, for $90,000 and other relief, its sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against Pand Enterprises Inc., doing business as a McDonald’s restaurant franchise, for reportedly subjecting a class of teenage male employees to sexual harassment by a male supervisor.

The EEOC’s lawsuit, EEOC v. Pand Enterprises Inc., d/b/a McDonald’s Restaurant (Civil Action No. CIV- 05-204 in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico), alleged that the supervisor’s abuse of the young workers included unwanted touching, requests for sex and sexual remarks.

The agency further charged that one young male employee’s work hours were cut in retaliation for opposing the sexual harassment. The young men, some who were only 15 years old at the time, worked as part-time crew members at the McDonald’s franchise at 925 San Pedro N.E. in Albuquerque.

“We commend Pand Enterprises for working cooperatively with us to reach this agreement,” said EEOC Phoenix Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill. “The consent decree includes important provisions to ensure that discrimination does not occur again at this workplace.”

As part of the settlement, in addition to the monetary relief, Pand Enterprises entered into a consent decree which was submitted to and approved by the federal district court. The decree requires training and other relief to prevent future discrimination. Sexual harassment and retaliation violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment or pregnancy) or national origin and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation.

EEOC Phoenix District Director Chester Bailey said, “We are hopeful that this settlement will help other young workers become aware of their rights under Title VII. No covered employee, no matter the age, gender, or citizenship status, should be afraid to report workplace discrimination or harassment to the EEOC.”

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