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Restaurant Chain Settles Harrassment Suit

Restaurant Chain Settles Harrassment Suit



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John Daley reportingA dozen women sexually harassed and even assaulted on the job have reached a pricey settlement with the JB's Restaurant chain.

The case involves female employees who say they were subject to flagrant sexual harassment. JB's restaurant and its parent company deny those charges, but settled the suit.

In 1996, Carla was a waitress at JB's in Kearns. She says her manager and other workers harrassed her with sexual jokes, and one day she says he raped her in the office.

Carla/Former JB's Worker: "There was touching. It was all in one night. That was the last time I ever went back there."

She went to the police and the District Attorney, but no charges were filed.

The woman who hired Carla says she was harrased by the same man.

Anne/Former JB's Worker: "He started touching me, and I went to the general manager and told her. She totally ignored me."

They went to the EEOC Regional Office, which ultimately filed suit and settled with JB's and Summit Family Restaurants. The settlement includes $435,000 for the victims, written apologies for the women, and jobs if they want them.

Mary Jo O'Neill, E.E.O.C. regional attorney: "This was an egregious case of sexual harrassment ranging from vulgar sexual comments by managers to forcible sexual assaults."

Anne/Former JB's Worker: "To me it wasn't the company that did it to me, it was the two guys. And they still have their jobs."

The head of Utah's Anti-Discrimination Division says the state gets 1,000 sexual harassment complaints a year--a number that's doubled since the mid-90s.

Sherrie Hayashi/ Director, Utah Anti-Discrimination and Labor Division: "I think that sexual harassment is a pretty serious problem in the workplace. A lot of people don't realize that inappropriate comments or conduct shouldn't occur in the workplace."

The JB's where the women worked in Kearns is no longer a JB's and they're not all owned by the same company.

We attempted to reach attorneys for JB's and the president of Summit Family Restaurants. They did not return our calls.

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