The national burger chain, BurgerFi, is being sued over sexual harassment allegations that come from both male and female employees. While many of the sexual misconduct allegations that have surfaced have come from females, this case is a bit different. Here’s why the burger chain is facing a lawsuit and what the victims of the misconduct claim they have been subjected to.
Robert Crockett, who is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and a general manager for the national fast-food chain in Ohio, compared his time working at BurgerFi as “nothing short of hell” [Source: WKYC]. While working at the BurgerFi located at 8748 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, OH 44060, he said he was subjected to “unwelcome words, touching, basically to the point of assault.” He told the news source that as time went on, the comments being made were more vulgar and “a little more in detail.” Eventually, Crockett reported the inappropriate behavior displayed by regional manager Michael Scimonelli and was surprised to find that nothing was being done. In fact, he said, “immediately after I reported it, that’s when the real fear started. I was scared I would lose my job. I was scared my employees would suffer.”
Unfortunately, it seemed as though the company wasn’t taking Crockett’s accusations seriously and the only person who did call him back responded to the complaints with “Not Michael. Michael was a great guy. Michael would never do this.” While the company may have thought highly of their regional manager as they had him appear on Live on Lakeside last year promoting the burger chain, Scimonelli’s record isn’t exactly clean. Last year, he was arrested and charged with choking a pregnant woman. While he was ordered to stay away from the woman after the incident, the charges were later dropped.
BurgerFi Employee Files Lawsuit Against the Company
After Crockett learned that his issue wasn’t being handled or taken seriously, he hired a sexual harassment attorney and filed suit. The lawsuit accuses Scimonelli as well as the BurgerFi corporation of assault, battery, and even aiding and abetting a hostile work environment. After the lawsuit was filed, the company eventually let Scimonelli go but they knew of these allegations prior to Crockett taking legal action and chose to do nothing about it.
To make matter worse for the company, five other women, two of which were teens, also claim they were sexually harassed by Scimonelli too. The lawsuit highlighted some of the inappropriate behavior displayed by Scimonelli who had a girlfriend at the time, toward Crockett, who is an openly gay man, which included:
- Routinely discussing his sex life with his girlfriend in front of Mr. Crockett and went on to describe the sexual fantasies he had that involved Crockett and a minor female employee.
- He would “brush his hands against a female employee’s breasts or buttocks as he was walking past her in the fast food establishment.
- He would send text messages to Crockett, inviting him over to his apartment for drinks so they could get drunk and “see where things go.”
If you have filed a sexual harassment complaint with your HR department only to find it isn’t being handled properly, consider contacting a sexual harassment attorney in Akron to step in and help.
While it is unfortunate that Crockett along with the other female employees who claim they were victimized by Scimonelli had to endure this behavior and have their claims ignored, they are now receiving the help they need to hold Scimonelli along with the company accountable for their uncouth and negligent behavior.
As you can see, sometimes, filing a sexual harassment complaint isn’t enough to end the misconduct. Sometimes, you need to bring on an Akron, OH sexual harassment attorney to help address the problem. And if you are a victim of sexual misconduct in the state of OH, you are encouraged to contact USAttorneys.com so that you can be connected with a sexual harassment lawyer in Akron, OH who can help you and ensure your allegations are taken seriously and handled accordingly.