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Feds sue Senor Frog's for Hawaii sexual harassment

Associated Press Modified: November 2, 2012 at 10:47 pm •  Published: November 2, 2012

The lawsuit targets La Rana Hawaii LLC, the Hawaii unit of Senor Frog's parent company, Grupo Anderson's.

Mallik said the commission normally would sue the parent company, but it wasn't able to in this case because the company's headquarters is in Cancun, Mexico, and the commission doesn't have jurisdiction there.

A phone call to Grupo Anderson's went unanswered. Most businesses in Mexico were closed Friday for a national holiday, Dia de Los Muertos.

Senor Frog's opened its Waikiki restaurant in 2007 and closed it in August of this year.

The case stems from accusations brought by an employee to the commission in April 2008. The commission initially filed a complaint in December 2011 after attempts to negotiate a settlement failed. It filed an amended lawsuit Friday.

The complaint seeks lost wages, compensatory and punitive damages as well as policy changes and staff training.

The lawsuit also names Altres Inc., a Hawaii company Senor Frogs hired to handle payroll and paperwork. It alleges at least four workers reported the harassment to Altres human resources staff as directed by the employee manual, but Altres failed to take action and allowed the harassment to continue.

Altres CEO Barron Guss said Friday that it thoroughly investigated the one complaint it received and reported it back to Senor Frog's management.

"It's not our role to come in and stop harassment and all those things. We can only report on what we find," Guss said.

Altres and Senor Frog's ended their contract at the end of 2008.


Associated Press writer Olga R. Rodriguez in Mexico City contributed to this report.