Chipotle Pays $95K to Settle Male Employee’s Sexual-Harassment Claim

 

Lisa Nagele-Piazza, J.D., SHRM-SCP By Lisa Nagele-Piazza, J.D., SHRM-SCP December 13, 2019
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Chipotle Pays $95K to Settle Male Employee’s Sexual-Harassment Claim

Chipotle Mexican Grill has agreed to pay $95,000 to settle sexual-harassment and retaliation claims brought by a male employee against his female boss.

The fast-food chain also will make substantial changes to its policies and practices under a three-year consent decree with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The California-based employee said he endured pervasive verbal and physical harassment from his female supervisor who allegedly propositioned him for sex, touched him inappropriately, and posted a "scoreboard" to track workers' sexual activities. He said he quit when his claims weren't properly addressed.

"This was my first job after high school, and it was hard to speak up about the harassment to management and then to the EEOC," the employee said in a statement.

Chipotle did not admit to any wrongdoing.

Enhanced Practices

In addition to the monetary settlement, Chipotle has agreed to create additional harassment-prevention policies, procedures and training programs for 27 restaurants in Northern California. The new practices are intended to improve accountability and oversight of managers, supervisors and employees. Chipotle also must track sexual-harassment and retaliation complaints, report them to the EEOC and post a notice to employees about the company's agreement with the EEOC and employees' rights under federal anti-discrimination laws.

(EEOC)

Complaints by Men Less Common

Men file about 15 percent of workplace sexual-harassment charges with the EEOC. Although such claims are most commonly brought by women against men, male employees can bring claims against women and workers can also bring same-sex harassment claims under federal and state anti-discrimination laws. EEOC statistics show that workers overall have brought more harassment claims since the #MeToo movement began.

(Market Watch)

Timeline: Sexual Harassment Allegations and the Workplace

In October 2017, the New York Times published its investigation of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and accusations of his sexual harassment of several Hollywood actresses. Suddenly, stories about sexual harassment were everywhere. Take a look at this timeline to see how this important issue has evolved, leading to a raised consciousness among employers about the importance of face-to-face training, the C-suite modeling appropriate behavior, and tools to prevent this behavior and protect employees who are—or could be—targets.

(SHRM Online)

Changing Expectations on Sexual Harassment Policies and Training

HR professionals in the era of the #MeToo movement have the tremendous responsibility and obligation to design policies and educate their workforces on sexual harassment, retaliation, bullying, hostile work environments and more. The SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK) can help them find solutions to complex issues while ensuring legal compliance.

(SHRM Online)

Quiz: Is It Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is in the news a lot these days, but most of the complaints that HR hears about day-to-day aren't quite as clear-cut or egregious as the cases that are making headlines. Test your knowledge about which behaviors warrant investigation by HR—and possibly the EEOC.

(SHRM Online)

 

[Visit SHRM's resource page on workplace harassment.]

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