Sexually Harassed Hotel Cook Fired For Complaining: $730,947 Judgment After Jury Trial

Would you think that the kitchen of a restaurant would be a harassment free workplace? Do you think that the workers should be able to expect that they would be able to carry out their job without any kind of sexual harassment or comments? In this case, a woman who was a “prep cook” in the kitchen of a 220-room hotel and restaurant suffered from unwanted sexual comments and touching from a supervisor and five of her co-workers. Her early complaints were ignored and when she complained to the general manager the employer decided to turn the investigation on her. Within about a two-week period, she was written up twice and fired for several trumped up reasons. In trial, plaintiff sought damages for sexual harassment and discrimination. A jury found for our fired prep cook on her claims of sexual harassment and retaliation against the employer and all six individuals, and valued her injuries at $482,500. An additional $10,000 was added for punitive damages, $225,000 in attorneys’ fees and $13,447 in other costs. The case proceeded against the shareholders of the hotel before it was resolved.

Trial Lawyer for the Cook: Robby Robinson of Quest Law Firm

(Reported in the Verdicts and Settlements section of The Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 5, 2002.)