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PRESS RELEASE
8-22-11

Gaucho’s Brazilian Steakhouse Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment

Valparaiso Restaurant Subjected Female Employee to Abuse, Federal Agency Charged

INDIANAPOLIS – Gaucho’s Brazilian Steakhouse, Inc., in Valparaiso, Ind., violated federal law by allowing a female employee to be sexually harassed, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today. The EEOC also alleged that the employee was forced to resign from employment due to the severity of the harassment.

The suit, EEOC v. Gaucho’s Brazilian Steakhouse, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:11-CV-294, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, charged that the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex.

The EEOC is seeking compensatory and punitive damages against the company, as well as other relief, including a permanent injunction to prevent the company from engaging in further sexual harassment or any employment practice that discriminates on the basis of sex. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

“Employees should not have to tolerate unwanted sexual conduct as a condition of employment,” said Laurie A. Young, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office. “Employees should not feel compelled to quit their jobs to avoid being harassed. The EEOC will vigorously prosecute employers who engage in this type of misconduct.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov. The EEOC’s Indianapolis Office is located at 101 W. Ohio Street, Suite 1900.