A New Jersey restaurant owner disputed a settlement he agreed to for a sexual harassment claim, but the appellate panel has upheld the original decision. The settlement was negotiated in 2011 following allegations that the man had sexually harassed female employees over the course of several years. According to the settlement, the man would pay the state $15,000 and payout $60,000 to the employees involved. Additionally, the company would provide training on workplace discrimination and harassment to all employees.
According to the complaint, the owner had sexually harassed six female employees. The women were subjected to inappropriate comments and touching, as well as more extreme aspects, including propositions to pose for racy photographs and sexual favors. One woman alleged that she was terminated following her report of the behavior, and the lawsuit also claimed that other employees quit in order to escape the environment.
The man's attorney notified the court that his client agreed to the settlement, and as a result, the case was settled. However, the man refused to sign the final consent judgment. The attorney general then asked a judge to enforce the settlement. The man then challenged this action, resulting in the case going to the appellate panel. Now, the settlement has been upheld.
The employees in this case have waited years for justice, and the owner seems to have attempted to skirt the issue at every turn. Thanks to the appellate court, the man will have to pay up according to the previous agreement. Though financial recompense cannot undo what these women endured, it can help to cover their expenses they accrued after leaving this toxic workplace.
Source: South Jersey Times, "Appellate panel upholds $75K sexual harassment settlement with Camden businessman," Jan. 16, 2013