INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Civil Rights Commission’s Deputy Director Akia Haynes (ICRC) announced today two significant sexual harassment charges against Les Brothers Restaurant and Pancake House in Highland, Indiana. Both complaints involve female employees alleging they were subjected to repeated incidents of sexual harassment.
In both complaints, the female employees, who were both waitresses at Les Brothers Restaurant and Pancake House, reported multiple incidents of sexual harassment by the restaurant’s owner, as well as other male employees. These incidents included both verbal and physical behavior that ranged from sexual comments and derogatory name calling to inappropriate touching and grabbing of their breasts and buttocks.
Despite both women telling the restaurant owner’s son about the behavior, nothing was done. Despite the restaurant’s owner’s denials, there is sufficient evidence to believe discrimination occurred given their similar accounts of a hostile work environment.
In order to prevail in either case, the women must show that: (1) they are a member of a protected class, (2) the comments/actions were sufficiently severe and/or pervasive that it interfered with their work performance, (3) they made it known that the comments were unwelcome, and (4) management failed to take corrective action to address the hostile work environment.
A finding of probable cause does not resolve a civil rights complaint. Rather, it means the State of Indiana has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the Indiana Civil Rights Law has been violated. The Indiana Civil Rights Law provides remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer’s policies and training.
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana Civil Rights Law and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Brad Meadows, ICRC Communications Manager, at (317) 232-2651.