Though illegal, workplace sexual harassment still occurs with alarming frequency in California and other states. Though it may seem insurmountable for one worker to face a giant corporation, many such lawsuits have been successfully litigated.  A recent complaint filed against the Chipotle restaurant chain demonstrates some of the legal options available to individual workers facing sexual harassment and other employment law violations. 

The plaintiff alleges that all four managers in the branch engaged in sexual harassment toward her and other female team members.  Specifically, she was required to wear a uniform shirt that was one size too small and had to put up with the general manager forcibly hugging her and touching her under her shirt.  The other two managers added to the sexually charged and hostile environment by making inappropriate remarks about the breasts of the plaintiff and other female employees.

According to the suit, the plaintiff is also seeking damages on the basis of wrongful termination, retaliation and discrimination.  Shortly before she lost her job, she hurt her arm, shoulder and back while taking out the trash, and was verbally accused of making the injuries up and being “lazy.”  When she logged into her employee account two days later, she found she had been fired.  She asserts that this is due to her complaints about workplace conditions.

At any point in the process of reporting, documenting or investigating workplace sexual harassment, workers can consult with a lawyer to find out more about their rights, as well as their best options at every step. By consulting with an attorney, workers can empower themselves to fight back and obtain the justice they deserve.  A California lawyer can best advise a worker on the legal paths specific to this state.

Source: Woodland Hills, Ca. Patch, “Chipotle employees used security cameras to ogle attractive customers, suit alleges“, Paige Austin, March 16, 2016