NEW YORK – Apple-Metro, Inc. and Hawthorne Apple, LLC, which operate an Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill in Hawthorne, will pay $100,000 and furnish other relief to settle a lawsuit for sex-based harassment and retaliation filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced.
The federal agency alleged restaurant staff verbally harassed the employee, a transgender woman, by making crude and derogatory references to her transgender status and repeatedly and intentionally referring to her with a male name and male pronouns.
Although the employee reported the sex harassment to management several times, the companies failed to stop the harassment and instead fired her in retaliation for her complaints, the lawsuit maintained.
Federal law prohibits workplace discrimination, including harassment, based on sex, as well as retaliation for complaining about it.
Under a consent decree resolving the lawsuit, the company will pay $100,000 in lost wages and damages to the victim and requires the companies to revise and redistribute their anti-harassment policies and provide training to all employees at the Hawthorne restaurant and to individuals of Apple-Metro, Inc., which manages the company’s other restaurants, located in Westchester and Rockland counties and New York City.
Also, any complaints of sex-based discrimination or retaliation made by employees of the Hawthorn Applebee’s will be reported to the EEOC.