Cheesecake Factory pays $345,000 to settle male-on-male sexual harassment lawsuit

The EEOC announced that Cheesecake Factory Inc has agreed to pay $345,000 to six male employees who were allegedly sexually harassed by other male kitchen workers at the Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Chandler, Arizona.

The EEOC lawsuit claimed that the workplace bullies touched the victims inappropriately, made inappropriate sexual comments, and forced the victims into repeated incidents of simulated rape.  In one instance, managers allegedly witnessed employees dragging the male victims kicking and screaming into a refrigerated room.

Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission district office in Phoenix, said, “The evidence was clear, and everyone knew about it. Beyond the lavish decor that the company boasts on its website was a horribly dysfunctional workplace where male workers lived in fear.”

Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Chandler, AZ

Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Chandler, AZ

Despite the fact that the victims, Bryce Fitzpatrick, Albert Miller, Jesse DeJong, Michael Wilson, John Andrew, and Julio Muñoz, complained to almost every manager at the restaurant, but none of the managers did anything to stop the workplace bullying.

One victim eventually called the police and reported the hostile work environment and sexual harassment.  Chandler police investigated the incidents but did not file any charges.

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