The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has filed suit against The Cheesecake Factory in Chandler, Arizona. The suit alleges that the California-based restaurant ignored repeated incidents of same-sex harassment. Several male employees claim that there were regular sexual assaults by groups of male employees, who would grab another male employee and take turns simulating sex with him.
One of the three men, Bryce Fitzpatrick, said he was harassed more than 20 times while he worked as a kitchen supervisor. Fitzpatrick, 23, said he would be cornered by about five to 10 cooks and dishwashers who would lift his legs into the air and grind up against him in the restaurant’s kitchen area.
R. Enochs, Esq. has posted on the difficulties the claimants are likely to face. Same-sex harassment claims make up 16% of all sexual harassment claims filed with the EEOC. Male-on-male claims are particularly stigmatized. When a male victim complains to management, he’s often faced with resistance instead of redress. Excusing the behavior as “horseplay,” the conduct is actually more akin to hazing.