Last updated: September 03. 2013 2:26PM - 2052 Views
Jack Latta jlatta@civitasmedia.com

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PRESTONSBURG - Three former employees have filed claims of sexual harassment against a local restaurant chain and its former manager.

According to court records, three former female employees who worked at the Prestonsburg Arby’s, located at 1308 North Lake Drive, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in Floyd Circuit Court, against Asharb Inc., the restaurant’s franchisee owner, and David Shawn Allen, the restaurant’s former general manager.

The women’s attorneys, David Neeley and Randall Strause, based in Louisville, say they are “shocked and appalled by the perverse culture of sexual harassment that Arby’s allowed to perpetuate at its Prestonsburg restaurant.”

According to the lawsuit, Allen sexually harassed and assaulted the three women throughout the course of their employment, creating a hostile and abusive work environment. The women claim that Arby’s management was aware of the general manager’s sexually harassing conduct and failed to take any corrective action, even after personally witnessing incidents of vulgar harassment. The women complained to Arby’s management and say that the complaints fell on deaf ears.

According to the court filing, one female manager advised that there was nothing she could do because she too was being harassed. Their attorneys believe that their clients are not the only victims of the general manager’s harassment and that others were afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation.

The lawsuit alleges that each woman was subject to sexual harassment on a near daily basis, beginning shortly after their employment began.

Because of the “very graphic and offensive nature” of the harassment their clients were subjected to, David Neeley said, “We refrained from reciting the explicit details of each woman’s complaint. They have already been humiliated by the GM’s harassment and we prefer to minimize the embarrassment of going public with explicit details. We have had conversations with Asharb’s corporate management prior to filing this suit and they are well aware of our client’s allegations.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the general manager constantly attempted to pursue a sexual relationship with each of the women and in front of other employees made sexually explicit and vulgar motions and statements. The women also claim he repeatedly offered them money in exchange for sexual favors, and demanded they provide sexual favors or lose their jobs.

Each of the women claims the harassment caused them severe emotional distress and ultimately lead to their separation of employment because of Arby’s failure to resolve its general manager’s harassment.

Thus far, no answer has been filed by the defendants. The Times was unable to reach the defendants for comment.

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