The Price of Unmanaged Sexual Harassment Reports Hits $1.25 Million for Del Taco

Del Taco Restaurants Inc

The fast-food restaurant Del Taco was sued in 2018 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for poorly managed sexual harassment cases, and a verdict has finally been reached.

Del Taco is a large food chain with around 600 locations in over a third of the United States. Despite the quantity and reach of this company, all of the sexual harassment reports originated from one location. 

Rancho Cucamonga California locations are where multiple young women reported at least three male coworkers for acting inappropriately towards them. The recounts of these young women included the enduement of daily sexual comments directed at them as well as events of inappropriate and unwelcome physical contact.

These occurrences of sexual harassment were reported, by the women involved, to both the human resources of Del Taco and a toll-free number. The company’s reaction to these events of sexual harassment was deplorable. No action was taken to educate workers on sexual harassment, hold harassing parties accountable, or protect harassed individuals. 

Instead, Del Taco responded by reducing the work hours of one of the victims of this sexual harassment case. This action is considered retaliation against an individual who deserves to be protected and respected by the company they work for. It discourages the reporting of events of sexual harassment and leads to the development of a toxic workplace. After these actions were taken against this female worker she and other female coworkers in a similar position resigned. 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Del Taco on behalf of these women and on November 30th the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled against Del Taco. The cost of these poorly handled sexual harassment claims? A whopping 1.25 Million dollars, but that’s not all. 

To push the company towards taking more appropriate action in future cases a consent decree was also filed to Del Taco. This mandates the company to have an E.E.O.C monitor for discrimination in the workplace, companywide training on anti-discrimination laws, create and maintain a better system for the processing of discrimination reports, and a laminated note about the terms of this decree must be placed in all locations. 

The cost of sexual harassment and discrimination is high. Not only does it take a toll on individuals within the workplace, but it also creates a toxic environment and requires legal action. At First Response, we understand the importance of maintaining a business that understands and properly responds to reports of discrimination. With the proper systems in place, companies can handle situations of sexual harassment in applaudable ways that strengthen their work environment. We are here to help companies take the steps needed to develop a competent workforce that encourages the reporting of improper employee conduct, so problems can be managed quickly and professionally.  
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