A Massachusetts restaurant was hit with a discrimination complaint last week by Attorney General Maura Healey, who alleged the diner engaged in repeated sexual harassment of its female employees for nearly 10 years.
Healey filed the lawsuit against Route 9 Diner in Hadley with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. The lawsuit alleged that starting as far back as 2004 the diner routinely subjected female employees to mistreatment and humiliation.
“We allege that this diner regularly subjected its waitresses to sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination, creating a hostile work environment,” Healey said. “No one should be degraded in the workplace because of their gender. Our office will work to ensure that all employees are protected from discriminatory practices.”
Owners Christopher Karabetsos and Argiris Sideris, and managers Dimitrios Demos and Steven Kwak, were all individually named in the complaint. The lawsuit alleged the four defendants knew about the harassment, but failed to protect the employees from the behavior.
The complaint said the employees were subjected to unwanted touching and advances, sexualized commentary, and whistling and cat-calling from the diner's cooks. The cooks also allegedly would show waitresses pornographic images on their phones, touch their hands when the waitresses would pick up food orders and cornered them in the walk-in refrigerator.
Ten former waitresses and hostesses provided information in the complaint.