The largest Burger King franchisee in the United States is reportedly paying $2.5 million to settle a federal sexual harassment case that has been ongoing for over a decade.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said that Carrols Restaurant Group employees had been subjected to inappropriate treatment during their employment with the company. According to The Associated Press, the suit covered 88 former employees and one current employee who said they were subjected to inappropriate behavior including obscene comments, unwanted touching, and rape.
The settlement of the Burger King sex case concludes a lawsuit that has been pending for roughly 14 years. The EEOC stated the lawsuit was the most extensive in its history.
Although Carrols Corp. will reportedly pay $2.5 million to settle the case, the company said that it doesn’t admit any wrongdoing in the matter. Carrols reportedly paid out the monies in order to avoid the cost of litigation.
Michael Delikat, the attorney representing the franchisee, said:
“It has cost the company an enormous amount of money to defend itself up to this point. It would have cost many more millions of dollars in legal fees to have concluded a potential trial of 89 claims.”
Carrols Chief Executive Daniel Accordino told Reuters that the company does not tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace whatsoever. However, he added that Carrols was not in the wrong.
In addition to paying $2.5 million to settle the case, the company promised to improve the state of its anti-harassment policies. Once the Carrols Corp. makes changes the procedures and training programs, they are to report back to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within two years.
Carrols Restaurant Group currently operates around 572 Burger King restaurants around the world.
Although the $2.5 million Burger King sex case settlement is being reported by several news outlets, the EEOC has yet to officially make an announcement on the matter.