P.F. Chang’s China Bistro is facing new litigation brought by female employees who say they were sexually harassed on the job. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, two women who worked at P.F. Chang’s restaurants in Carlsbad and La Jolla were awarded nearly $500,000 each in arbitration against the company in 2014. Both women claimed they suffered repeated sexual harassment.
Serious Allegations of Harassment
Since then, at least four more women have filed claims against the company saying they were sexually harassed at restaurants in Anaheim, Chino Hills, Beverly Hills and Riverside. The women used the arbitration process required by their employment contracts, which prohibited them from taking action in court. The women are seeking to take their cases to court while the restaurant is trying to enforce the arbitration clause.
The allegations made by the women are appalling to say the least. They say supervisors and co-workers subjected them to unwanted sexual attention, simulated sex with them when they were bent over or not looking, tried to kiss them and touched them inappropriately. One female worker said she was only 16 when a male co-worker grabbed her hand and forced it down the front of his pants, according to her complaint.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment could also include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. The victim and the harasser could be woman or man or they could be the same gender. It should be understood that the law doesn’t bar simple teasing, offhand comments or isolated incidents. Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent and severe that it creates a hostile work environment.
What Can Victims Do?
If you are facing sexual harassment in the workplace, you should tell your harasser to stop. If that does not work complain to a supervisor. Write down every incident of harassment. Keep copies of email messages, photos, unwanted gifts or cell phone video recordings. Follow your company’s procedures for filing a complaint. Contact an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney who has successfully handled sexual harassment lawsuits on behalf of victims. You may be eligible to seek compensation for your losses, emotional pain and other damages