It’s no secret that sexual harassment is still a problem in many workplaces, the restaurant industry perhaps most of all. But every so often, you hear about an incident that’s so bizarre that it’s almost hard to believe that it happened.
Yet, awful things do happen in workplaces all the time. Take, for example, the experience of a 23-year-old California woman who is now suing Panda Express after being forced to disrobe and submit to a series of verbal, physical and sexual abuses in the name of “team-building.”
Team building shouldn’t include sexual harassment, emotional battery or abuse
The young woman was required to attend a 2019 training seminar in Santa Clarita if she wanted any chance at a promotion. However, the whole event has been best described as a “cult-like ritual” that devolved into actual sexual violence before it was over, leaving at least one victim emotionally scarred.
During the “seminar,” participants were denied egress, had their cellphones taken from them and were monitored when they went to the bathroom by the seminar’s leaders. They were verbally berated and abused, then ordered to strip down to nothing but their underwear and confess their inner struggles at the top of their lungs until they were “believed” by the seminar’s leaders.
Seminar leaders also openly stared at the bodies of the female participants, and the plaintiff in this case was forced to embrace a male participant while in a state of near-total undress.
If they left, participants were told, their chances of a promotion were over. The young woman’s lawsuit is now a reflection of the disastrous experience and everything she suffered.
Workplace sexual harassment is never acceptable
You have a right to a safe workplace, and sexual harassment or assault is never acceptable nor part of the bargain. If you believe your rights were violated, speak to an attorney today.