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EEOC: Restaurant permitted sexual harassment

MERRILL, Wis. (AP) — A federal workplace-rights agency is accusing a restaurant in Merrill of failing to prevent a cook from sexually harassing waitresses.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it filed a lawsuit Monday against the New Pine Ridge Restaurant.

The EEOC said a cook created a hostile work environment by making crude comments to waitresses and grabbing their breasts.

The agency said the women complained but the restaurant owner did nothing to stop the harassment.

The EEOC also alleges that some of the women were fired in retaliation for complaining.

A message left with the restaurant’s owner Monday was not immediately returned.

According to the agency, the cook eventually pleaded no contest to charges of misdemeanor battery against three waitresses.

The lawsuit seeks lost wages and compensatory and punitive damages.

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