Jersey Shore is a Hellhole, according to sexual harassment suit
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Tipsy Taco, a party bar in Atlantic City New Jersey, faces a lawsuit claiming the owner of the bar sexually harassed one of its female workers, which in turn encourages other employees to participate in similar behavior. According to the suit, Tipsy Taco maintained a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Ericka Puglisi, a former waitress at Tipsy Taco, has filed a suit for sexual harassment and gender discrimination against Tipsy Taco in a the Superior Court of New Jersey claiming John “Johnny” Liccio, a co-owner of Tipsy Taco, began sexually harassing her by the second day she started working at his establishment. Puglisi claims that Liccio had offered her money in return for sexual favors, specifically $150 for oral sex, $250 for intercourse and $350 for anal sex. When Puglisi denied Liccio’s advances, he told her to keep her mouth shut.
Puglisi didn’t tell anyone about the encounters but the sexual misconduct continued. According to Puglisi, Liccio would flirt with her, look at her inappropriately and touch her inappropriately. Liccio would call Puglisi “sweetie” and “babe,” often describing her as “hot” or “attractive.” The hostile work environment was not limited to Liccio’s, as other co workers joined in on the harassing behavior. For instance, Puglisi remembers the male kitchen staff regularly touching her butt and breasts, whistling at her while she walked past and constantly asking for hugs with the intention to feel her breasts. Puglisi recalls one occasion when a kitchen employee forcibly took her hand and placed it on his penis, which constitutes criminal sexual assault.
Puglisi wasn’t the only employee who suffered Liccio’s harassment at the Tipsy Taco. Puglisi witnessed Liccio harassing other women, and believes Liccio had, had sex with at least one employee at the restaurant when customers were in the building.
To add insult to injury, Tipsy Taco often forced its employees to allow customers to take “body shots” off of them, charging different rates depending on which server you requested. Puglisi objected and complained about the non-employee sexual harassment, but was ignored. When Puglisi complained to management, JoAnn Liccio, Johnny’s wife and co-owner of Tipsy Taco, became overtly abrasive and hostile toward Puglisi. On a particular shift, Puglisi told JoAnn that Johnny had harassed her and asked her for sex; JoAnn told Puglisi that Puglisi had “ruined” her night and further told Puglisi to “go the f—k home” in retaliation for her complaints.
On another occasion, Puglisi’s mother came into the restaurant to pick her up from work. When Puglisi’s mother encountered JoAnn, she introduced herself as “the mother of the daughter your husband solicited for sex.” JoAnn screamed at Puglisi’s mother, calling Puglisi a “f—king liar” and threatening to “burn down” their home. Puglisi has made a complaint, and a strong case that Tipsy Taco permeated a culture of sexual harassment.
Liccio is a text book sexual harasser. Under both the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and Federal Title VII law, Tipsy Taco has created a hostile work environment, and retaliated against Puglisi for bringing complaints. Further, because of Liccio’s request for sexual favors exchange for pay, Tipsy Taco is liable for quid pro quo, sexual harassment, which is actionable when job benefits are predicated to performing sexual favors for an employer.
The New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith law Group, PLLC, have years of experience litigating claims of sexual harassment. Working with our Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys, we have received some of the highest jury verdicts for survivors of sexual harassment in the country. If you feel you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, give our talented sexual harassment attorneys a call, toll-free, at (800) 807-2209. for your free consultation.
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