Celebrity chef’s Drunken Sexual Harassment
NEW YORK, NY – Oops, the Plaza Hotel is making headlines again, but not for its amazing service or quality food—quite the opposite in fact—the iconic New York City hotel has found itself a defendant in yet another sexual harassment lawsuit.
These new charges were added to an amended complaint against the Plaza Hotel. Earlier this year, six current and former cocktail servers, bartenders, and hostesses at the hotel filed a complaint claiming that the Plaza Hotel subjected them to sexual harassment, assault, and then defendants retaliated against them for making complaints. In this newly amended complaint of sexual harassment, now includes celebrity chef Todd English and an additional plaintiff.
Chef English’s restaurant is the Todd English Food Hall, which is a restaurant at the Plaza Hotel and features a market-style setup with nine stations for global food & wine.
Chef English is accused of drunkenly flirting with a server and creating a “toxic, objectifying and hostile” work environment, where sexual shenanigans were served as the main course. While working at Todd English Food Hall, Plaintiff and server, Gabrielle Eubank, says she was harassed by several staffers at the restaurant including Chef English himself.
As an example of her claims of hostile work environment sexual harassment, on May 17, 2017, Eubank was working a party at the restaurant when Chef English, “who appeared to be intoxicated, began hugging Ms. Eubank and kissing her on the cheek repeatedly.” Her complaint explains, “Mr. English then began flagrantly propositioning Ms. Eubank on the floor, saying she was “sexy” and that he’s “surprised you’re still single.” Mr. English then attempted to kiss Ms. Eubank on the lips, forcing her to turn away at the last moment.”
Another male harasser was a cook who propositioned Eubank, saying he had, “a tiny burrito for you.”
In a statement about their case, the seven female plaintiffs jointly explained, “This institutional culture of sexual harassment, which starts at the very top, is ignored and tolerated by human resources and hotel management—the very people charged with ensuring the well being of hotel employees.”
Chef English’s behavior is classic sexual harassment in violation of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, Chef English and the Plaza Hotel may be liable for sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination. In general, it involves an unwanted condition imposed on your employment because of your gender.
Further, because the seven plaintiffs bring their claims in New York City, their case falls under both New York State and New York City human rights laws. Both the city and state laws mirror federal laws, but are markedly more liberal than federal laws. For example, under the New York City Human Rights Law, the sexual conduct needs to be anything more than a petty slight or trivial inconvenience, instead of the “severe and pervasive” standard of sexually harassing conduct under the Federal law.
If you feel like you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, or you need legal help contact the experienced New York City discrimination and sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our attorneys have years of experience litigating claims of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Working together with our Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were discriminated against because of their gender. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your gender, please give our attorneys a call at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.
Call today to schedule a FREE sexual harassment or employment discrimination legal Consultation in NY, NJ & PA with one of our top rated employment law or sexual harassment attorneys here at the Derek Smith Law Group. You can reach us online or by calling . Our New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia labor & employment law attorneys handle a variety of cases involving sexual harassment, racial discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and other employment-related claims. We serve clients throughout New York, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We also have offices in New Jersey and Philadelphia to serve you.
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