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Kauai Panda Express sued over alleged sexual harassment

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:04 p.m. HST, Sep 27, 2012

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a sexual harassment suit on behalf of three teenage workers against a Panda Express restaurant Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

According to the agency, a male supervisor at the chain's Kapaa location sexually abused at least three teenage female workers beginning in 2008.

One of the girls, who was groped and subjected to sexual propositions by the supervisor, had her hours cut after reporting the abuse to the restaurant's general manager, according to the suit.

Another girl quit to avoid sexual advances from the same supervisor, the suit alleges.

"Subjecting teenaged workers — who are especially vulnerable — to this kind of abuse is especially unconscionable," said Timothy Riera, local director for the EEOC’s Honolulu office.

According to the Panda Express company website, Rosemead, Calif.-based Panda Restaurant Group, Inc. manages and owns over 1,400 restaurants in 42 states, with 24 locations in Hawaii.

A Panda Restaurant Group spokeswoman told the Associated Press today that the company doesn't comment on pending litigation. 

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