Cheesecake Factory to pay in harassment case

November 10, 2009 1:06:59 PM PST
National restaurant chain The Cheesecake Factory Inc. has agreed to pay $345,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging it let some male employees sexually harass other male workers in suburban Phoenix.

The settlement announced Tuesday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission includes a requirement that the company train its employees and managers about sexual harassment.

The EEOC lawsuit alleged company managers knew about repeated sexual assaults against six male employees by a group of male kitchen staffers at a restaurant in Chandler, Ariz., but did not intervene.

The Cheesecake Factory, based in Calabasas, Calif., said in a statement that the claims had no merit and it does not tolerate sexual harassment. It said it agreed to settle to avoid the disruption and expense of continued litigation.

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