There is no room for sexual harassment in the workplace‚ especially when it involves a child. Our client was only 16-years-old and was working at a McDonald’s restaurant in Magnolia‚ New Jersey when an unsafe work environment led to her being sexually accosted.
Our client was scheduled to work from 5 p.m. to closing‚ which typically was not until 12:30—in direct violation of the New Jersey child labor laws that state minors cannot that late on a school night. Previously‚ she had reported to management that she was being harassed by another employee of the restaurant through his stealing her hat‚ tugging her hair and apron‚ and leaving his work station to follow her around the restaurant. Management had also directly been told by the said employee that he had pending charges against him for sexually assaulting his girlfriend. Despite the reports and the admission on his part‚ he was allowed to remain as an employee putting all other workers in danger.
On that particular October day‚ she was asked around 6:30 p.m. to go to the storage room alone to get sauces to restock the front of the store. When she did so‚ the male employee, who had been bothering her blocked her in the room and sexually accosted her.
In addition to the obvious violations of child labor laws demonstrated by this McDonald’s location, they were negligent in that they did not provide a safe working environment and did not take added care to protect the minors they employed. When they learned of the male employee’s behavior towards our client as well as his admitted criminal charges pending against him‚ they should have terminated his employment to protect the interest of their other employees‚ especially multiple minors.
Instead‚ the managers and owner of the McDonalds chose to take no action‚which allowed this predator access to our client and the other female employees. As a result of this traumatizing experience‚our client suffered extensive emotional distress.
An employer has an obligation to provide a safe working environment for all employees‚especially minors. We knew that the effects of this incident did make and would continue to make a severe impact on our client’s life. We aggressively fought for her, and in the end, we were able to secure $250‚000 to compensate her to some degree for what she went through.