Restaurant says it takes harassment seriously

Cornelia Mascio
Dicembre 13, 2017

On its website, it states: "McCormick & Schmick's "people-focus" extends to our employees as well, whom we treat with the utmost respect and for whom we provide growth opportunities at many levels".

A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, which represents the women, says the complaint details a "humiliating" and "toxic" work environment at the upscale seafood and steak chain's location near Faneuil Hall. The incidents alleged occurred in 2014 and 2015. Those measures included a disciplinary action report for executive chef Aaron Hopp; suspension of sous chef Roman Buruca for a week without pay; firing of dishwasher Jesus Vasquez Lopez for his "lack of credibility and unprofessional demeanor during questioning, combined with his prior warnings for unprofessional behavior"; and a disciplinary action report for general manager Barry Young for failing to report the complaint against Vasquez.

The plaintiffs also say McCormick & Schmick denied that the lewd behavior was sexual in nature. I cry a lot.

The plaintiffs' lawyers have "latched on to the current frenzy concerning sexual harassment and filed a lawsuit citing inflammatory allegations that conflicted with statements of their own clients and that at least one independent eyewitness identified during our investigation said was untrue", said Julia Liebelt, vice president of Human Resources. "I can not sleep at night", Fuentes said. The suit doesn't allege mistreatment at any of the chain's other locations, but it's still momentous because it's among the first filed by minority low-wage earners in back-of-house jobs - the women are described as being Hispanic "dishwashers, cleaners, and prep cooks". It concluded that there was reasonable cause to believe that McCormick & Schmick's had discriminated against the women on the basis of their sex.

Restaurant says it takes harassment seriously
Restaurant says it takes harassment seriously

"The disgusting things that happened to me made me feel dirty", she said in Portuguese, speaking through a translator.

"They are coming forward today because sexual harassment is not just prevalent in white-collar societies or white-collar industries", she said. Al Franken (D-Minn.); and U.S. Reps.

The Boston lawsuit comes the day after celebrity chef Mario Batali announced he was stepping down from his duties at the approximately two dozen restaurants he owns, following sexual misconduct allegations in a story in online food publication Eater New York.

Gladys Fuentes (right) speaks about the sexual harassment at the restaurant.

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