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Morton's Lawsuit Says Cook Put Food Down Pants

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on November 04, 2011 6:46 AM

This is a real-life kitchen nightmare: A chef at a Morton's steakhouse sued his ex-coworkers for attempting to rape him in the restaurant. The Morton's lawsuit details some appalling and disgusting behavior going on at the chain's Boca Raton, Fla. location.

It at all began when a cook stuffed asparagus down his pants. The stalks were then served to unsuspecting diners.

Sous chef Reggie Williams reported the health violation to Morton's managers, but they took no action, according to the complaint. This non-action allegedly encouraged his crotch-stuffing coworker to go even further: he started groping male coworkers, licking their ears, and grinding against their backsides.

But what happened next is even more distasteful.

On Valentine's Day, the coworker allegedly confronted Williams in a storage area where he tried to strip Williams and attempted to rape him as another coworker stood guard.

Williams fought back and called police, the Morton's lawsuit says. He was physically injured and too psychologically scarred to return to work.

Williams wants payback from two managers and four coworkers. He wants punitive damages for assault, battery, civil rights violations for sexual harassment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Men being sexually harassed by other men is actually more common in the workplace than you may think.

A 1998 U.S. Supreme Court case cleared the way for same-sex sexual harassment claims under the Civil Rights Act. Since then, the percentage of sexual harassment cases brought by men has doubled. In 2008, about one in six claims were filed by men.

As for the emotional distress claim, it would be up to a jury to determine if Williams' distress was "severe" enough for damages.

Until then, this Morton's lawsuit will certainly be getting more attention than Morton's would like to digest.

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