A waitress at an Olive Garden located in Bay Shore, New York, claims a former general manager (“GM”) at the restaurant continuously made sexual comments and groped and touched female staff members. The waitress alleges that despite her consistent requests that the GM stop the groping and touching and complaints to the GM’s supervisor, Olive Garden failed to take any disciplinary action, instead letting the GM take a two-month leave for anxiety before returning to work.
According to the lawsuit, the GM marked the applications of attractive female job candidates he interviewed for employment so he would know who to hire, and consistently showed up intoxicated for his shifts. The waitress claims that during a meeting in the parking lot regarding the new computer system, the GM unzipped her sweatshirt, grabbed her breasts, and commented to her “this reminded me why I hired you in the first place.” When the waitress complained, another Olive Garden manager “rolled her eyes,” and told the waitress that the GM “was drunk again,” according to the lawsuit.
The waitress asserts the GM continuously asked her to take cigarette breaks with him in the gated and secluded dumpster area outside the restaurant, where he would talk about other female employees’ bodies and how they would perform during sexual intercourse. These cigarette breaks, which allegedly took place during almost every shift the waitress worked, lasted for approximately 9 months.
The GM also purportedly told the waitress and other female Olive Garden employees that they would receive larger raises and promotions if they had sex with him. The waitress says he followed through on that offer and gave certain female waitresses and servers raises, promotions, and overtime in exchange for sexual favors. The lawsuit further claims the GM created fake Olive Garden employee profiles to pay these female workers for the sexual favors and sex.