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California waitress says manager harassed, assaulted her at work

You can't expect to get along with everyone you meet, even in the workplace. However, even though you may not like one of your coworkers or always agree with a supervisor's management style, you may understand that it is part of your responsibility as an employee to remain professional and civil in the workplace.

Likewise, San Diego employers also have a responsibility to promote safe and harassment-free workplaces for employees. Failing to do so could lead to serious problems amongst workers and may even jeopardize worker safety. When workers believe that their employers have fostered or contributed to a hostile work environment, workers have every right to take legal action so that changes can be made to protect themselves and others.

One worker who had a disagreement with her supervisor has recently decided to file a lawsuit against her employer. The disagreement allegedly got out of control and turned violent after the woman's supervisor grabbed and twisted her wrists at work.

According to Courthouse News Service, a waitress who worked at Villa Blanca Restaurant is suing the restaurant and her manager for sexual harassment and wrongful termination. The restaurant is owned by Lisa Vanderpump who stars in the reality show "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

The waitress claims that a manager had tried to kiss her at the restaurant during one of her shifts. The woman explained that the action was "inappropriate" and she filed a workplace complaint with a general manager.

After the complaint was filed, though, the woman said that the manager who had harassed her called her names. A few months later, the supervisor threw money at the waitress when she had asked to get change for a $20. The waitress and supervisor got into a verbal disagreement over the situation, but the agreement turned violent when the supervisor grabbed the employee's wrists.

The waitress reportedly had filed another complaint with the general manager. She claims that the restaurant failed to discipline the supervisor again. She eventually felt like she had no other choice but to quit her job because she could no longer work in the hostile environment. She is now seeking $5 million in damages, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this month.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Waitress sues 'Real Housewives' star," Rebekah Kearn, Oct. 17, 2012

  • Our firm handles a variety of employment law and job rights issues, including sexual harassment in the workplace. To learn more about employees' rights, please visit our San Diego employment law attorneys page.