A 23-year-old former cocktail server has launched a blistering federal lawsuit against the Light Group. The lawsuit accuses her ex-employer of allowing sexual harassment, encouraging alcohol and drug abuse, subjecting her to a hostile work environment, inflicting emotional distress, wrongfully firing her, and even assault and battery.
According to the Los Angeles Sun, Fix Restaurant hired the unnamed waitress (she is remaining anonymous due to her fears of retaliation and invasion of privacy) when she was just 19. For the next four years, she worked at various restaurants and clubs owned by the Light Group on the Las Vegas strip, including Fix Restaurant, the Bare Pool Lounge and the Jet Nightclub. According to the federal lawsuit, the young woman “was trained in the Light Group’s ‘marketing program’ [and was taught] specific sexually provocative non-physical and physical techniques to get patrons of defendant’s clubs to drink, take drugs, and engage in sexual contact with plaintiff and her female coworkers.”
The waitress blamed this “marketing program” on the death of Desiree Veilleux, a night club host, whom she claims was subjected to similar harassment and work related insults.
The Light Group released a blistering response to the accusations, calling them “outrageous” and “completely untrue.”
The Light Group is a powerful Las Vegas institution. It runs the Bank at the Mirage, the Jet at Aria and Monte Carlo, as well as a variety of clubs and restaurants at the Bellagio Hotel. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the woman is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.
When young restaurant workers get abused by their employers – for wage and hour violations, sexual harassment, employer abuse, or other violations – it often takes a great deal of courage for them to come forward and respond to the pathological behavior. This isn’t because there is something wrong with the victimized employees – rather, it’s a natural human tendency to respect authority and to “try to get along.” Unfortunately, in certain workplace situations – particularly, it appears, at many restaurants – workers often have no choice but to solicit external resources to end annoying, harassing, or even dangerous practices.
The law firm of Joseph & Kirschenbaum can help you develop a powerful and clear strategic response to your difficult employment situation. Connect with the team now at (212) 688-5640 or www.jhllp.com.