$2 Million Awarded to Harassed Cracker Barrel Employees

$2 Million Awarded to Harassed Cracker Barrel Employees

The familiar country family store and restaurant, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has settled in a Federal District Court for the workplace discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  The lawsuit was in response to frequent reports of sexual and racial harassment within the establishment over the past two years.  

The chain restaurant corporation will be turning over $2 million to reimburse the 51 Cracker Barrel employees involved in the suit, who claim to have been sexually and racially harassed while working there.  The first lawsuit filed by ten women over two years ago claimed that the employees were exposed to groping and sexual assaults as well as, “pornographic photographs, cartoons, obscene jokes and sexual propositions.”  

June, Calhoun, an attorney representing the EEOC commented that the revealing of the harassment occurring in the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain was due to the courage displayed by the women who came forward with their stories in the beginning stages of the suit.  

Stipulations involved in the settlement will require the corporation to file any complaints of sexual or racial harassment in the future to the EEOC and also protects employees should they take legal action against Cracker Barrel, in the event of harassment.  

“We are very happy.  This is a great result,” commented Calhoun.  “It is also important to note that Cracker Barrel will be required to make periodic reports to EEOC when any complaints of harassment or discrimination come from their employees at those restaurants.”  

“We had 51 workers coming forward and telling the same stories,” Calhoun added.

The plaintiffs involved in the suit were employees at the Bloomington, Matteson, and Mattoon, Illinois Cracker Barrel restaurants and will share the $2 million settlement.  

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