Famed restaurant faces sexual harassment allegations and lawsuit

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2020 | Employment Law |

Working in the service industry has long been a common way for Delaware residents to earn a living. These jobs can be beneficial for people of all ages and demographics. Still, there has long been a perception that employees — especially female wait staff at restaurants and bars — are frequent targets of sexual harassment. One woman who worked at a famed steakhouse has filed a claim asserting just that.

The woman worked at Smith & Wollensky in New York City, starting there at age 18 in the autumn of 2018. She says she was harassed by staff and clients during her time there. According to her, she was inappropriately touched daily and people kissed her without her consent. Furthermore, she was asked to spill water on herself during an interview. She informed supervisors of the harassment, but nothing was done.

She stopped working there in May 2019. Along with the groping, she was told by colleagues to drink alcohol and use drugs. The incident with the water was an example of what supervisors would ask her to do in exchange for getting better tips. The kissing incidents were exemplified by a customer doing so without having any invitation from her, nor was she warned he was going to do it. Management is accused of telling her to let the customer behave that way.

She seeks damages for the mistreatment and wants the company to retrain its workers in how to behave appropriately. In the past several years, greater attention has been paid to sexual harassment and other workplace violations. Unfortunately, some workers are still confronted with this type of treatment. To get justice for unfair sexual harassment, a victim may need to file lawsuit. Consulting with an experienced firm might help with a case.