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PRESS RELEASE
10-1-12

JEC Enterprises Sued By EEOC for Sex Harassment

 Females, Including Teens, Harassed at Several Albuquerque  McDonald's, Federal  Agency Charges

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - JEC  Enterprises, Inc., which operates at least four McDonald's restaurants in  Albuquerque, violated federal law by subject­ing a group of female employees,  including teens, to sexual harassment and forcing some women to resign, the  U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it  filed September 28th.

In its suit, the EEOC said  that managers of an Albuquerque McDonald's operated by JEC sexually harassed Samantha  Collins and Teneka Templeton, and also subjected a class of female workers at  various McDonald's also operated by JEC to sexual harassment.  The women, including some teenage hires, were  subjected to pervasive sexual comments and innuendo and unwelcome touching or  attempted touching of their bodies, which created a hostile work environment  for them.  The EEOC also alleges some  women were forced to resign their employment because of the harassment and  failure of the employer to provide prompt corrective action.

Such alleged conduct violates  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment  discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment. The EEOC filed suit in  U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico (EEOC v. JEC Enterprises,  Inc.,d/b/a McDonalds, Civil Action No. 1:12-cv-01015 CG/WDS)after  first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.  

"We continue to see a  significant number of sexual harassment cases throughout our district," said Regional  Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill of the EEOC's Phoenix District Office, which has  jurisdiction over Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah.  "We are particularly concerned when managers  and supervisors of companies are involved in harassing vulnerable teenagers and  other women.  The EEOC will prosecute  such cases vigorously."

The lawsuit asks the court to  order JEC to provide all the affected women with appropriate relief, including  back wages for those forced to resign, compensatory and punitive damages, and to  grant a permanent injunction enjoining the company from engaging in any further  gender-discriminatory practice.  The EEOC  also asks the court to order the company to institute and carry out policies  and practices that eradicate and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

 "Our investigation revealed that sexual  harassment of these women included teenagers working their first jobs," said  EEOC Deputy District Director Elizabeth Cadle, "Employers have an important  responsibility to maintain a workplace that is free of sexual harassment." 

The  EEOC recently updated its Youth@Work website (at http://www.eeoc.gov/youth/), which presents information for teens and other  young workers about employment discrimin­ation.   The website also contains curriculum guides for students and teachers  and videos to help young workers learn about their rights and responsibilities  in the work force.

The EEOC enforces federal  laws prohibiting employment discrimination.   Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.