Feds sue Senor Frog's for Hawaii sexual harassment
HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing the Senor Frog's bar and restaurant chain, saying its CEO, other high level executives and managers sexually harassed female employees at its now-closed Waikiki location.
The complaint accuses male managers of groping female workers' breasts and buttocks, and of demanding sex from them. Mangers made graphic, inappropriate and offensive sexual comments, said the lawsuit, which the agency filed in federal court in Honolulu on Thursday. The harassment occurred on a daily basis, it said.
Attorneys for Senor Frog's didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The managers routinely urged employees, many of whom were under legal drinking age, to drink alcohol with them, the lawsuit said.
They also encouraged employees, and even directed at least two of them, to have sex with high level executives when they visited Honolulu, including the chain's CEO, the lawsuit said. The CEO was identified in court papers as David Krouham.
"One of the reasons we were so concerned about this case is we saw this harassing behavior permeated up to the most senior levels of management. That was a real problem and a real concern for us," said Amrita Mallik, a senior trial attorney for the commission. "This was a company that seemed to disregard the rights of the women who worked there."
The complaint names five managers and three senior executives.
Most of the nine alleged harassment victims were in their teens and early 20s. Many were working at their first job and were students. Managers allegedly retaliated against them after they complained, by giving the workers fewer hours, fewer shifts, and assigning them to cover slower parts of the restaurant where they would earn fewer tips.