PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced April 2 that a federal district court has ordered Scottsdale Wine Café, doing business as 5th & Wine, to pay $100,000 after allegations it allowed two servers to be sexually harassed because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

"These two men were subject to absolutely unacceptable slurs and abuse at 5th & Wine, and we are proud that the district court understood the need to compensate them and to make sure that the company will take steps to prevent discrimination against others," EEOC Phoenix District regional attorney Mary Jo O'Neill said in a statement. "Employers must understand that this kind of misconduct will not be tolerated."

According to the EEOC, Wyatt Lupton and Jared Bahnick were subjected to egregious name calling, comments, innuendos and touching by management and line staff at 5th & Wine. The two employees purportedly complained to supervisors, but the supervisors failed to act. Eventually, Lupton was purportedly fired when he told management he planned to take legal action.

"This company should have acted right away to put a stop to this unlawful behavior,” EEOC Phoenix District director Elizabeth Cadle said in a statement. “Instead, it made a bad situation worse by punishing one of the victims. Employers may not discriminate against employees because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation - or retaliate against them for complaining about it."

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