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Florida restaurant worker accuses customer of sexual harassment

A woman who used to work for a south Florida restaurant called Max’s Grille has sued her former employer and a customer in a sexual harassment case. The woman alleges that she was victimized by sexual harassment in the workplace when a customer who frequents the restaurant sexually harassed her. She says that management did not take any effort to stop the behavior, and that the restaurant later wrongfully terminated her.

The lawsuit, which also names the customer, says that the man groped the hostess and fondled her breasts. Allegedly, the bad behavior of this particular customer was ongoing, and the woman said she felt as though she was not worthy of management protecting her. Following the groping incident, she advised her supervisor that she needed to go home. Later that day she required hospital care due to an anxiety attack that was triggered by the event.

The woman’s counsel says that her reaction to the man’s inappropriate touching may have been so severe because she had been abused sexually as a young girl. Ultimately, after the woman returned to the restaurant, she was subjected to various forms of retaliation. Later, she was wrongfully terminated, according to the suit.

Any Florida employee, no matter the person’s sex, level of position or level of income, has the right to assert him or herself in court after being victimized by sexual harassment in the workplace. Unfortunately, many sexual harassment victims are not aware of their rights in these matters, but cases like this hostess’ and other employment litigation matters continue to bring more attention to the topic. Indeed, if this woman’s case is successfully pursued, she may be able to gain compensation for the income she lost after being wrongfully terminated by her job, in addition to other forms of damage.

Source: NBC Miami, "Ex-Hostess Sues Max's Grille Alleging Sexual Harassment", , May 21, 2014

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