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EEOC targets S.C. Applebee's after alleged harassment by manager

By Mark Iandolo | May 10, 2017

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FLORENCE, S.C. (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit May 4 against Green Apple LLC, doing business as Applebee’s Grill and Bar, for allegedly subjecting two female employees to a sexually hostile work environment.

The EEOC says Tracy Frye began work as a server at the North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, restaurant around September 2013. Between January and October 2014, Frye was allegedly harassed by one of the male assistant managers at the restaurant. Around June 2014, Tracy’s sister – Cindy Frye – began work at the same restaurant. According to the EEOC, she too was harassed by the same manager until October 2014. Applebee’s purportedly failed to take action until late October 2014, when a male relative of one of the women threatened to address the situation personally.

"This incredible case - where an abusive manager allegedly harassed one sister and then another - reinforces the crucial need for employers to take appropriate action to stop unwelcome sexual com­ments and misconduct in the workplace," said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District Office. "The EEOC takes a company's disregard for the federally protected rights of its employees very seriously and will prosecute cases where this kind of abuse occurs." 

The EEOC seeks monetary relief, including compensatory and punitive damages for the harassment victims, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future harassment and discrimination.

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission