Athens Sonic Owner to Pay $70,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Suit

ATLANTA – SDI Athens East, LLC, doing business as Sonic and Tomco Management, LLC, will pay $70,000 to settle a sexual discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The federal agency had charged that a the store manager of a Sonic drive-in restaurant located in the eastern part of Athens, Ga., subjected a female carhop to a barrage of sexually charged comments and repeated sexual overtures. The EEOC further asserted that the manager subjected the carhop to unwelcome touching that became increasingly menacing and ultimately forced her to resign. The EEOC first filed the suit on July 2, 2008 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.

The consent decree settling the suit, in addition to the monetary relief of $70,000, includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training, reporting, and postings. In the suit and consent decree, SDI Athens and Tomco Management denied any liability or wrongdoing.

“The abuse suffered in this case is precisely the kind behavior that Title VII was enacted to stop” said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “The Commission is pleased that the defendants committed to resolving this matter and setting in place a method of addressing similar problems in the future.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.

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