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Sexual harassment claim with a twist puts Chipotle in court again

Chipotle, the Mexican restaurant that started strong and seemed to spring up overnight all over the country, has already seen its share of troubles.

Now, a new claim by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has put the made-to-order fast food chain back in the news -- in a bad way. The EEOC is suing the restaurant chain over charges that one of its general managers has sexually harassed a younger shift member in various ways:

  • The female manager put up a "sex scoreboard" that kept track of her employees' sex lives
  • She openly discussed her own sex life with staff
  • She pestered the younger shift manager, who is male, for sexual favors
  • She asked if she could watch the shift manager and his girlfriend engage in sexual acts
  • She tried to get the shift manager to introduce her to his girlfriend for a "threesome"
  • The general manager physically touched her shift manager's privates without his consent

There's also an element of retaliation to the EEOC's lawsuit, since the shift manager was purposefully locked inside a freezer after he reported the general manager's boorish -- and outlandish -- behavior to her superiors.

This isn't the first time Chipotle has faced a sexual harassment lawsuit. The chain recently had to hand over $7.6 million in a Texas lawsuit -- indicating that there's a lack of oversight happening in the chains somewhere.

While this is a relatively obvious and extreme example of sexual harassment, it doesn't take something that incredible to make a successful suit. It's also important to note that, just like in this case, sexual harassment can come from either gender (and can even exist between members of the same gender). The imbalance of power between the parties involved is a large part of what makes the behavior so repugnant and unacceptable.

Source: Denver Business Journal, "EEOC sues Chipotle, alleging sexual harassment by a female manager in California," Ben Miller, Sep. 19, 2017

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