EEOC files suit against BK

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has charged TSW Management Inc., the owner of several metro Detroit-area Burger King restaurants, with pervasive sexual harassment and retaliation. The lawsuit, case No. 2:11-CV-13220, was filed July 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

The EEOC claims that “the manager of TSW’s Royal Oak Burger King severely harassed many of his female employees, including minors, over several years.” The commission said he made lewd comments, touched female workers, and made sexual advances toward them. If the workers complained, the EEOC said the manager would “cut hours, alter paychecks, and escalate his harassing behavior. The manager also retaliated against one victim by terminating her for insubordination.”

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from sexual harassment and from retaliation for complaining about illegal practices such as sexual harassment. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The EEOC is seeking an injunction to prohibit the company from engaging in this type of discrimination in the future, as well as monetary relief on the behalf of the victims, according to the EEOC website.

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Court: BK franchisees can’t have it their way

And now for the third course in the trilogy of food-related legal matters.

First, we reported on a Hooters waitress being called out by management for carrying more than chicken wings and burgers, as she was put on “weight probation.” (This week, she filed an ELCRA lawsuit, and an Irish wagering site is accepting bets on how it turns out.)

Then, a burger joint in Cambridge, Mass., launches a burger that pays tribute to both U.S. Supreme Court candidate Elena Kagan and to the U.S. way of doing business.

Now, a federal court judge in Miami has ruled that Burger King management has the right to dictate value-meal pricing to franchisees. This comes after store owners, by way of the National Franchisees Association, were complaining that BK’s setting the double cheeseburger price at $1 was hurting their bottom line, making the value menu only a value to – gasp! – the consumers. (Though it should be noted that it’s not exactly been a value for cheese lovers, because, for the past month, BK has been skimping on the yellow stuff.)

Yet, allegations by the franchisees of bad faith by the company had enough plausibility to be argued in court.

Still, MSN reported, “[I]f franchisees and Burger King management know what’s good for them, they’ll spend less energy on this lawsuit and more energy on boosting BKC stock through stronger sales and profits.”

Maybe getting rid of those creepy commercials that feature the guy in the King costume would help, too.