A teenager who formerly worked at a Chipotle in Houston, Texas, was awarded a multimillion-dollar judgment this week after suing the company for sexual harassment.
The teenager who was 16 at the time said she was harassed by her supervisors and had sexual intercourse with her 26-year-old manager more than 40 times, FOX 26 News reports. The age of consent in Texas is 17.
Chipotle has been ordered to pay the teen $7.65 million, following a two-week trial. The victim’s name has not been reported because the court has classified her as a victim of sexual assault.
“It’s almost like a brothel that just served food. That’s the best way to characterise this restaurant,” the victim’s attorney Ben Hall told KPRC 2.
According to Hall, the victim’s ex-manager has fled the country and is currently in Mexico.
Chipotle says that employees and the company were unaware of the relationship between the teen and her manager, which the company says took place outside of work, until the victim’s parents filed the lawsuit. At the time the lawsuit was filed, Chipotle says neither the victim nor her former manager were working at the company.
“We care deeply about all of our employees, but even our rigorous policies specifically designed to protect our employees cannot prevent private relationships that happen away from the workplace during non-work hours, such as occurred in this case,” Chipotle said in a statement. “We continue to offer our support for this former employee, and hope for her wellbeing.”
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