Randolph McDonald’s franchisee to pay $1.6 million for sexual harassment of workers

MONTPELIER, Vermont (WCAX) – The owners of a Randolph McDonald’s restaurant will pay $1.6 million in a settlement for sexual harassment, one of the largest employment discrimination cases in history of State.

The Vermont attorney general’s office said the joint state/federal case was against Coughlin, Inc., the owner of the Randolph restaurant. It started in March 2001 when the federal government filed a lawsuit for failing to protect many young executive workers for several years. Officials say the harassment consisted of “hitting, grabbing, and attempting to grab employees’ breasts, buttocks, and genitals, as well as making offensive and degrading sexual comments.”

The AG’s office joined the case in 2007 after Coughlin failed to address similar harassment by employees at another McDonald’s restaurant he owned.

Under the terms of a five-year accreditation decree, Coughlin will establish a $1.2 million settlement fund to compensate the victims of his restaurant Randolph, pay $125,000 in civil penalties to the state and $275,000 in damages to the estate of Jennie Lumbra, the one of the victims who joined the trial and who later died. Coughlin will also be required to revise its sexual harassment policies, implement an employee hotline, provide sexual harassment training to all employees and managers, and undergo a compliance review by an independent monitor.

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