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Former employees of Las Vegas restaurant sue for sexual harassment

Two former workers at RM Seafood Restaurant are accusing the restaurant's general manager of sexually harassing them and retaliating against them when they complained. The manager denies behaving inappropriately toward the employees and has filed a countersuit against one of the women who started the litigation.

The women were employed as bartenders at the restaurant, which is located in the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas, in 2010 and 2011. During that time, the women claim, RM Seafood's manager touched them inappropriately, described sex acts he wanted to perform with them and made comments about their bodies.

Besides the harassment itself, both women said that FM Seafood punished them as retaliation for suing. One of the women said that after she told her manager that she was planning a lawsuit, he warned her that she would be "blacklisted" from bartending in Las Vegas restaurants if she went forward. Subsequently, management issued her several "bogus" performance-related warnings and cut her hours before firing her, the woman claimed. The other woman said she also had her hours cut before she resigned.

The general manager said that one of the women initially declined to participate in the suit and was upset that the other plaintiff had approach her about suing RM Seafood.

But in an affidavit submitted to the court, the plaintiff described a confrontation with the accused manager. When the general manager asked her whether he had ever touched her or "been inappropriate" with her, she told him that he had.

The lawsuit accuses the manager and the restaurant of violating the federal Civil Rights Act and Nevada's anti-workplace discrimination statue. The general manager is also accused of committing battery in the form of "offensive touching." Damages have not been specified.

Source: VEGAS INC, "Celebrity chef's Vegas restaurant facing harassment lawsuits," Steve Green, Feb. 15, 2012

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