ST. LOUIS (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit Sept. 19 against two related International House of Pancakes (IHOP) franchises for allegations of sexual harassment against numerous female employees and a male employee.

"The sexual harassment in this case is particularly disturbing because it involved the general managers of both restaurants, both of whom were close relatives of the owner, and the owner declined to take any action," said James R. Neely Jr., director of the EEOC's St. Louis District Office.

According to the EEOC, the male general manager and at least two cooks at the Glen Carbon, Illinois, restaurant sexually harassed more than 11 female employees. The harassment included lewd sexual comments and touching. At the Alton, Illinois, location, the general manager allegedly sexually harassed a male employee. The EEOC says the owners and managers at both locations knew of the harassment, yet failed to take action to stop it.

"Sexual harassment in the workplace is always shocking," said Andrea G. Baran, regional attorney of the EEOC's St. Louis District Office. "But harassment of teenagers and young adults is particularly egregious."

The EEOC’s St. Louis District Office oversees agency operations in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and a portion of southern Illinois.

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