PHILADELPHIA – A former line cook at a Philadelphia restaurant claims in a lawsuit that she was fired by her bosses, after reporting several months’ worth of sexually harassing behavior directed towards her in the workplace.
Miracle Brown of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 24 versus Winn-Hers, Inc. and Win Hers, Inc. (both doing business as “Winnie’s Manayunk or formerly “Winnie’s LeBus”) and Winifred Clowry, also all of Philadelphia.
On May 9, 2017, Brown filed a charge of discrimination against the defendants with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – and requested it be dual-filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). She received a “Right to Sue” letter on June 28 of this year.
In October 2016, Brown was hired as a line cook at the Winnie’s Manayunk restaurant and per her own recall, was the only female employee who worked in the kitchen during her tenure of employment.
“Within the first few weeks of her employment at the restaurant, plaintiff found herself subjected to a sexually harassing work environment. During her employment at the restaurant, plaintiff’s male co-worker and supervisors in the kitchen would routinely engage in sexually-explicit conversations about women in her presence, would repeatedly use the word ‘p—y” to describe women and sexual acts, would play music that contained vulgar and sexually-explicit lyrics, and would ask plaintiff about her sexual orientation,” the suit says.
In another instance, a male co-worker asked if he could “slap her on the ass” in order to tell plaintiff she had done a good job clearing orders. Brown refused, and says she reported all of the above behaviors to Clowry, who assured the plaintiff she would take care of them, the suit claims. However, nothing was allegedly done, and the harassment is said not to have stopped there.
A sous chef at the restaurant allegedly remarked that, following President Trump's inauguration, "We're going to be grabbing lots of p---y now."
A co-worker responded to that comment by stating: “We’re already grabbin’ them by the p---y.”
On Jan. 26, 2017, Brown filed a criminal complaint with the Philadelphia Police Department’s 5th District regarding what she believed to be unending and unlawful sexual harassment. At the end of her shift the following day, on Jan. 27, 2017, Brown was told she was being let go because “she wasn’t a good fit.” As a result, her employment with the defendants was terminated.
For 10 counts of sexual harassment and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 for past lost wages, lost future wages, compensatory damages, declaratory and injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees and costs, interest, delay damages, all other such relief that this Honorable Court deems necessary, proper or just, in addition to a trial by jury.
The plaintiff is represented by Michael J. Davey of Eckell Sparks Levy Auerbach Monte Sloane Matthews & Auslander, in Media.
The defendants do not yet have legal counsel, according to Court records.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180902983
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at email@example.com