WASHINGTON (AP) — The largest franchisee of Burger King restaurants is paying $2.5 million to settle federal claims of sexual harassment.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the agreement with Carrols Corp. covers 89 female employees around the country. The settlement ends a 14-year lawsuit that was one of the most extensive in the commission’s history.
The EEOC alleged that Carrols employees subjected women in dozens of restaurants to harassment that included obscene comments, unwanted touching, exposure of genitalia, strip searches and rape.
The company did not admit any wrongdoing and said in a statement that it settled the case to avoid litigation costs. The settlement requires the company to improve its ability to respond to harassment charges.
Syracuse, N.Y.-based Carrols owns and operates more than 570 Burger King restaurants in 13 states.