Federal Agency Files Lawsuit Against Las Vegas Restaurants Over Sexual Harassment Allegations


August 25, 2023, 12:06h: The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed four lawsuits this week alleging sexual harassment at Las Vegas restaurants.

Last updated on: August 25, 2023, 12:06h.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken legal action against four Las Vegas restaurants, alleging sexual harassment towards employees by owners, supervisors, management, co-workers, and/or customers. Bouchon, Nevada Restaurant Services Inc., Mariscos El Puerto, and La Catrina are facing lawsuits filed in US District Court, as stated by a press release from the federal agency.

Bouchon at The Venetian
Bouchon at the Venetian is one of four Las Vegas restaurants sued this week for sexual harassment by the federal government. (Image: The Venetian)

The upscale French restaurant, Bouchon at the Venetian, opened by Chef Thomas Keller in 2004, is accused by the EEOC of subjecting female and male employees to daily harassment. The agency further alleges that “some employees who complained faced retaliation.”

Nevada Restaurant Services, the owner and operator of Dotty’s gambling parlor chain and Laughlin River Lodge hotel-casino, is accused of allowing sexual harassment since at least 2018, according to the EEOC.

“Even after complaints of harassment were made to human resources, Nevada Restaurant Services failed to address and correct the harassment which forced some employees to quit as their only way of avoiding the harassment,” stated the EEOC in its release.

Another case involves the off-Strip Mariscos El Puerto restaurant and La Catrina Bar, where the EEOC alleges verbal harassment and physical assault against gay and lesbian employees, as per the agency’s release.

These allegations violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits a hostile work environment based on sex, including sexual harassment, and also protects individuals who report such harassment or engage in other protected activity from retaliation.

“What happens in Vegas, does not stay silent in Vegas,” said Michael Mendoza, the director of the EEOC’s Las Vegas office. “There are consequences for these actions and the EEOC will not sit idly by as employers allow their workers to be harassed by colleagues, supervisors, and even customers. This should serve as a wake-up call for employers.”

The EEOC stated that it pursued legal action after attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement in all the cases.

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