According to a 2014 report released from the Restaurant Opportunities Center United, a little less than 70 percent of all female restaurant workers will be subjected to sexual harassment. A current case of sexual harassment against a group of women at P.F. Chang’s has been filed in a Superior Court in California. The restaurant chain had similar allegations against it less than two years ago by two other women with similar complaints.
Due to the contracts that the employees signed, their complaints must go through arbitration. According to the arbitrator who handled the case, the four plaintiffs were forced to deal with unwanted touching and sexual remarks. A fifth plaintiff — who was 16 at the time of the events — claims that she was also subjected to the sexual harassment.
The then 16-year-old alleges that a male co-worker called her derogatory names and would smack her on her rear end. Additionally, co-workers purportedly propositioned her for sex and would then explain what they would do in graphic detail. The woman at the time was below the age of consent and a judge agreed, but P.F. Chang’s appealed the decision. The company made a statement that it prides itself in having a having a safe work environment for all employees that is free from harassment and discrimination.
Many individuals in California and elsewhere who are forced to endure sexual harassment are generally afraid to speak up out of fear of retaliation. Although it can be scary, it is important that workers in similar situations bring their complaints forward. Similarly situated workers may choose to file claims and possibly be awarded damages for the mental distress they suffered as the result of any wrongful conduct. These damages can include lost wages and any other redress that a court deems appropriate.
Source: eater.com, “P.F. Chang’s Is Being Sued for Sexual Harassment Again“, Georgia Kral, March 3, 2016