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9:50am — Harassment Suit Settled

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Male teens harassed at ABQ restaurant to share $90,000.

 

A class-action lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and retaliation at an Albuquerque McDonald’s franchise has been settled by the restaurant’s franchisee, Pand Enterprises Inc., for $90,000, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today in a news release.

The class was composed of several teenage males who were part-time crew members at the McDonald’s restaurant at 925 San Pedro NE in Albuquerque, some of whom were as young as 15, according to the release.

The suit, which was filed in February 2005, had alleged that a supervisor had abused young workers by unwanted touching, requests for sex and sexual remarks and that one employee had his work hours cut in retaliation for protesting the alleged harassment, the release said.

The EEOC commended Pand Enterprises for its cooperation in reaching the agreement, which includes a consent-decree that has approved by a federal judge requiring training and other measures to prevent future discrimination, the release noted.

One of the members of the class, that will share in the financial settlement, said in a statement made in Spanish and translated in the release that he was happy the case was resolved and was grateful to the EEOC.

"My hope is that through this settlement, managers and employees, including young employees, will learn something about their responsibilities and their rights under the law," said Edgar Hernandez, according to the EEOC translation.

EEOC officials in Phoenix said they hoped the settlement would remind young workers of their rights under federal Title VII and urged those workers — regardless of age, gender or citizenship status — to report any discrimination or harassment to the agency.

According to a story by The Associated Press at the time the lawsuit was filed, the alleged harassment and retaliation took place in 2003. McDonald’s Corp. was not named in the lawsuit, the AP reported.

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