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Boston Market chain Settles Harassment Suit

Oct 24, 2005 | Newsday

concatenation  in the company's Ronkonkoma store.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced the settlement Thursday. It filed the lawsuit two years ago on behalf of Christine Gagliardi, who is learning disabled and required a job coach for her position as a greeter, cashier and server for the Golden, Colo.-based company from 1999 to 2001.

Neither Boston Market nor its attorney could be reached for comment.

The EEOC's lawsuit alleged that Gagliardi's co-workers and some supervisors taunted her because of her disability and because she needed a coach. In addition, a male co-worker repeatedly harassed her, sometimes in the presence of managers. The co-worker also made lewd comments and gestures and once pressed Gagliardi up against the wall and touched her inappropriately, the lawsuit said. He later pleaded guilty to criminal charges in connection with the harassment, the EEOC said.

"The EEOC is pleased that this lawsuit has been resolved in a manner that compensates Ms. Gagliardi for the harm she suffered and which also provides for protections against discrimination in the future," said Judy Keenan, the agency senior trial attorney who litigated the case.

Gagliardi, 30, worked with a coach because many mentally disabled workers are entitled to such an accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

As part of its consent decree Boston Market has to establish procedures for investigating employees' complaints about harassment and discrimination and provide prevention training for managers and employees.

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