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Bartender's suit alleges sexual harassment and retaliatory firing

A former bartender at a Newport Beach bar has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit that makes alarming allegations of illegal behavior against his previous employer, reports the Los Angeles Times. The complaint reportedly asserts that the sexual harassment included subjecting employees at work to explicit video and to managers' discussions of their sexual experiences.

The suit accuses the employer of allowing a "sexually charged environment" in the workplace, including a description of an alleged "sexual battery" by a manager against a waitress.

In addition, the plaintiff says that he was fired on the day after he voiced complaints about his manager's harassing behavior.

According to the Los Angeles Times article, the complaint names two managers and two companies that own the bar as defendants. The defendants have denied the allegations.

Other illegal behavior alleged

In addition to the sexual harassment claim, potential wage and hour law violations as well as other legal issues are described in the lawsuit, including management theft of tips; failure to pay overtime; direction that the plaintiff change sales data to get around a liquor licensing requirement; and failure to provide required work breaks.

Seek legal advice

The kinds of employer actions described in this lawsuit, if proven, are classic examples of illegal sexual harassment under federal and California state laws:

  • Allowing severe and pervasive behaviors in the workplace like display of explicit film, unwanted sexual contact and banter of a sexual nature that create an abusive, intimidating and hostile work environment
  • Retaliating against an employee for complaining about offensive behavior by unlawfully terminating his or her employment

Anyone in California who finds him or herself in a situation at work in any way similar to that alleged in the Newport Beach bar lawsuit should speak with an employment attorney as soon as possible about the possibility of a sexual harassment lawsuit.

The employment lawyers at California Employment Counsel, APC, fight for the rights of clients in sexual harassment matters across the state.

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