The four women contacted a Denver sexual harassment attorney to file a complaint which could result in a federal lawsuit.
One of the women, Giovanna Henery, told Fox 31 in Denver, her male coworkers called her “slut,” “whore” and told her she had AIDS.
Male workers would make sexual jokes and comments in front of female employees.
When she told the managers of the Sushi Den about the harassment, one manager told her, “women don’t have common sense,” and went on to explain that was why she was being subjected to sexual harassment.
Henery also said that one of managers got physical with her on one occasion and attempted to “climb on top” of her and
The women also allege that managers berated them in front of customers and that pregnant women were told to hide their stomachs because they looked “sloppy.”
Henery along with three other female coworkers said that they were denied promotions and men were hired and advanced over female coworkers.
The Denver Post pointed out that there are no female sushi chefs and only one female manager in the Sushi Den’s two restaurants.
“We’ve been able to verify this with numerous people that this type of treatment happens on almost a daily basis. Our goal here is to get this to stop. We want our clients to be able to go to work, to be treated with dignity and respect,” Henery’s attorneys Paula Greisen and Jennifer Bezoza said in a statement, according to Fox 31.
The EEOC will investigate the claims and determine if there are grounds for a federal lawsuit. The investigation could take up to a year to complete.
The restaurant, however, disputes the charges saying in a statement, “Sushi Den values its employees and patrons and is committed to providing a workplace free of harassment and discrimination. A very small number of its many employees are making these allegations even after an independent third-party investigator reviewed the facts and found allegations of systemic discrimination or harassment against female employees to be unsubstantiated.”
Sexual harassment in restaurants and other workplaces is rampant for both women and men. A recent poll from YouGov/Huffington Post of 1,000 people found that 13 percent of respondents had been sexually harassed by a superior and 19 percent admitted to being harassed by a coworker. What’s more shocking is that 70 percent of the individuals never reported the harassment.
People don’t report sexual harassment because they fear they will be retaliated against or fired. They feel like their employers will think their complaints are frivolous or without merit. Some victims of harassment can only speak up about their harassment when they have the support of other employees or are backed by the expertise of a Denver sexual harassment attorney.