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Male on Male Sexual Harassment at Hooters

Emanuel Shirazi

Hearing that two employees who worked at Hooters, a restaurant best known for busty waitresses and chicken wings, are suing their boss for sexual harassment may not seem like a surprise—but what if I told you those employees were male?

PJ Cagnina and Scott Peterson are both suing the restaurant chain and their male boss, Rick Leukert, for allegedly sexually harassing them for years. Each of the plaintiffs worked as managers of the restaurant chain in the Los Angeles area and are currently seeking unspecified damages. Cagnina and Peterson say they were subjected to “repeated, intense acts which were intended to cause mental harm to the plaintiffs, to humiliate them, to undermine them.”

Here are the details of the sexual harassment:

  1. Leukert allegedly forced one of the men to simulate sodomy in a parking lot after throwing him down.
  2. Leukert allegedly touched the butts of both Cagnina and Peterson while standing behind them.
  3. Leukert allegedly tried to coerce Cagnina to go skinny dipping with female employees.
  4. Leukert told his assistant to write “PGay” on a trophy that was to be given to Cagnina after being promoted.
  5. Leukert repeatedly referred to “Cagnina” as “Vagina”.
  6. Leukert allegedly obtained Cagnina’s cellphone and looked at his private and intimate photos (some of which featured the female manager Cagnina was dating at the time.)
  7. Peterson alleges that Leukert repeatedly spoke to him in a “sexually demeaning way” in front of other employees.
  8. Leukert allegedly asked if Cagnina had impregnated any of his female subordinates lately, during a store meeting.

When Cagnina and Peterson confronted their boss about the sexual harassment, Hooters investigated Leukert. Shortly after the investigation, however, Cagnina was fired without any explanation. Peterson was then fired shortly after Cagnina.

Because the restaurant is a franchise, Hooters Corporate claims that they have no knowledge of the facts related to the case and refuses to comment on the incident. Leukert owns and operates several Hooters franchises on the West Coast under the LLC, Hoot Winc.

Given the nature of the business, it’s no surprise that Hooters has faced several lawsuits in the past, some of which include a waitress suing the chain for forcing her out of a job after she refused to wear a wig post brain surgery. Another waitress filed a lawsuit against the chain for racial discrimination.

What do you think of this male on male harassment?

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