Dunkin’ Donuts franchise to pay $290,000 to settle EEOC suit alleging manager sexually harassed female workers, including teenagers

College View Donuts, LLC, doing business as Dunkin’ Donuts, will pay $290,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to a May 31, 2011 agency statement. The commission’s suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, alleged that the manager of a Dunkin’ Donuts store in Wynantskill, New York, sexually harassed female employees, some of whom were only 16 and 17 years old (NDNY, No. 1:09-01320 TJM/RFT).

The manager engaged in unwanted touching and hugging, and made lewd sexual comments to the female employees, the EEOC said. The company also allowed the manager’s illegal conduct to continue even after two employees had complained about it a year before, according to the commission. The manager was finally fired after the employees reported his conduct to the police and he was arrested.

In addition to paying $290,000 to the former employees, the College View Donuts will be bound by a six-year consent decree enjoining it from engaging in further discrimination or retaliation. The decree calls for the appointment of an equal employment opportunity coordinator and training for all employees and managers on sexual harassment prevention. The company will also issue a letter of apology to the women; revise its antidiscrimination policies and complaint procedures; post a notice to employees about the resolution of the lawsuit; and never rehire the manager responsible for the harassment.

“Sexual harassment is never acceptable, but it is especially troubling when the victims are teenagers,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Adela Santos.