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Kauai Panda Express sued over alleged sexual harassment

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 02:04 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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localguy wrote:
So far, just a she said, he said. Let's wait until all the facts come out. And speaking of facts, it is a well known fact some people will pull the "I've been abused" scheme to hold stores ransom to pay off money. Just saying.......
on September 27,2012 | 06:51AM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
That's interesting, localguy. Could you point me to some statistics generated by the government or a justice group re false versus true claims of sexual abuse against businesses? I Googled and wasn't able to find any.
on September 27,2012 | 07:00AM
control wrote:
Sexual predators love people like you. Pretend to be an upstanding citizen while others are around and then turn into a monster when the coast is clear. Prey on the young and naive and use your position to keep them in line. It happens every day, in every community. Just saying.....
on September 27,2012 | 08:16AM
jchun1 wrote:
So says a guy who has, in all probability, not been abused. Speaking as someone who was molested by 2 "uncles" it's definitely not easy to come forward and say anything. I'm sorry for these girls, but kudos for having the courage to speak up.
on September 27,2012 | 08:21AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Localguy is also anti rail. Just saying.
on September 27,2012 | 11:40AM
allie wrote:
I have a part-time job in Waikiki. The boss has firm rules about female workers like me being harassed by anyone including customers. And believe me I egt a lot of gawking and offers from drunks around midnight. It takes consistent rules and well understood penalities to stop this kind of thing.
on September 27,2012 | 03:45PM
Aquarius1 wrote:
Awwww, Allie, just drunks? Now I really feel sorry for you, especially since no gawking or offers from the sober ones. LMAO!
on September 27,2012 | 08:32PM
PaloloValley wrote:
Your attitude is the very reason why a lot of these incidents are not reported. Better to 'err' on behalf of the possible victim's safety than allow the scum to continue the sleezy behavior. It happened to me while working at a financial institution in Kaimuki back in '74, just the manager and me in a little office. I still remember his creepy words, physical advances and finally his slimy arm around my shoulder. Reported it several times and finally just quit. Regional director asked me to return, but I moved on. The creep was fired and blamed me for it. Coincidentally, I found that out while at an employment agency downtown where he had also gone to and lied about his termination. The rep assisting me asked me about it and pulled his paperwork out and had a good laugh. He'll probably recognize himself in this comment if he's still alive. Probably is.... only the good die young.
on September 27,2012 | 05:36PM
cojef wrote:
Testosterone working overtime, made me do it. So help me.
on September 27,2012 | 07:04AM
ready2go wrote:
Who can these victims contact to report these incidents to, if their company does not help them?
on September 27,2012 | 07:12AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
The Federal Government. Sexual harrassment is a hige issue with the Feds, and is dealt with harshly.
on September 27,2012 | 07:57AM
bigislandkurt wrote:
Cha Ching. Pay up Panda.
on September 27,2012 | 08:10AM
medigogo wrote:
Since 2008? Why didn't the KPD do anything? Is it criminal or just about some "civil" amount?
on September 27,2012 | 08:40AM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed in US District Court. The case is a criminal case against KFC, which likely means the US EEOC believes they have evidence that the problem was not only with the abuser himself but with the way the company handled the complaint that one victim made to general management about the alleged abuse.
on September 27,2012 | 10:56AM
Bean808 wrote:
What the heck is going on Kauai?
on September 27,2012 | 09:27AM
Mythman wrote:
The way it is done by sophisticated people is to increase wages, give them raises, special treatment, etc first then make a move. Not make a move then fire them when they say no. think about it.
on September 27,2012 | 11:39AM
pauliboy wrote:
Bad Panda
on September 27,2012 | 11:54AM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
Good thing the SuperFerry gone. Now, no need worry about sexual abusers on Kaua'i, yeah?
on September 27,2012 | 06:39PM
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