Chipotle Loses $7.65 Million in Sexual Harassment Trial

After a two week trial, a Houston teenager was awarded $7.65 million in a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former employer, Chipotle Mexican Grill. Because the court is classifying her as a sexual assault victim, her identity will remain anonymous. Though she is 19 and attends college now, she was 16 at the time of the sexual misconduct. 

Some of the inappropriate behavior she experienced while she was employed by the restaurant include: 

  1. Her manager bumped into her breasts and made comments about them. 
  2. Using the security cameras, supervisors watched the breasts and butts of women in the restaurant.
  3. Her 26 year old manager had sex with her more than 40 times (she was underage so could not consent). Though her supervisor knew it was happening, he did nothing to stop it or prevent it from happening again.

The plaintiff hopes that this case will give females the courage to speak out against sexual violations, especially in the workplace. Her lawyers are currently seeking criminal charges against the man who committed the sexual violations, though they fear he may have fled to Mexico.

Chipotle released a statement saying that they support the plaintiff and care about her wellbeing. When the chain found out about the assault, none of the alleged perpetrators were working with the company any longer. Chipotle claims that they have “rigorous policies specifically designed to protect employees” and that they go to “great lengths to provide safe and productive work environments.”

Why do you think a case like this could not settle before trial?

*image by Flickr

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