Waffle House CEO Sued for Sexual Harassment
Waffle House CEO Joseph Rogers Jr. is accused by a former female employee of sexual harassment.
The unidentified women filed a police complaint against the CEO and claimed that Rogers demanded that she perform sex acts on him in exchange for keeping her job, reports The Associated Press.
The alleged victim says that the harassment went on for nearly a decade. Police did not confirm that the suspect is in fact the Waffle House CEO, but the attorney for the woman says that Rogers is the defendant and the home address for Rogers listed in the police report matches the address for the CEO.
In the police report, the woman is quoted as saying that Rogers tried to force her to have sex with him despite her repeated protests, writes the AP. It's alleged that Rogers touched her breasts, tried to remove her clothes, made lewd comments, and insisted she perform sex acts on him at least once or twice a month.
The woman says that she never complained over the many years of the alleged harassment because she needed the money from the job. But after her son received a college scholarship, she was apparently financially freed to file the police complaint, reports the AP.
While most may associate sexual harassment with a civil complaint, sexual harassment can be a crime too. This is especially true if the victim was assaulted or was touched without her permission.
In addition, the woman may have already sued the CEO for sexual harassment as the AP reports that the woman filed a lawsuit against Rogers on September 19, 2012. Interestingly, Rogers himself sued the woman five days earlier.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is generally difficult to prove. A single insult or a single act usually is not enough to rise to the level of harassment. However, if the allegations are correct, a ten-year history of harassing remarks and requests for sex acts "once or twice a month" throughout this time would be strong evidence to support the harassment claim. And if Rogers forced the woman to have sex with him or touched her without her permission, he could be criminally liable too.
Reps for Rogers state that his version of the facts differs greatly from his accuser's.
- Police investigate accusations Waffle House CEO forced employee into sex acts (Atlanta Business Chronicle)
- Sexual Harassment (FindLaw)
- Landlord, 80, Traded Housing for Sex (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)
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