Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. Settles Longstanding Litigation With EEOC
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- January 8, 2013
Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: TAST) today announced that its
wholly-owned subsidiary, Carrols Corporation ("Carrols"), has entered into an
agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) resolving
longstanding litigation originally commenced by the EEOC in 1998.
The case, alleged that Carrols had subjected female employees working at its
locations to sexual harassment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, and attempted to establish a class action based on a claim of
"pattern or practice" across its restaurants in 13 states. Throughout this
litigation over the past 14 years, Carrols has strongly denied all the
allegations of the complaint and vigorously defended itself against these
In 2005, the Court dismissed the class or “pattern or practice” claims that
the EEOC had brought on behalf of 90,000 female employees. The result of that
decision and further rulings was to leave only a relative handful of
individual claims to be resolved and a vindication of Carrols’ longstanding
written policies and procedures.
Further litigation continued over the remaining claims, and in order to avoid
ongoing litigation costs, Carrols has now entered into the agreement with the
EEOC which fully resolves and settles all remaining claims without any
admission of wrongdoing. Under the agreement, Carrols will make cash payments
to the 89 remaining claimants in the lawsuit totaling $2.5 million, with
allocations among the claimants being determined by the EEOC. Carrols agreed
to continue to uphold its obligations under Title VII and continue to maintain
its existing and comprehensive anti-harassment policies and procedures and
training programs. It also agreed to make certain enhancements to such
existing policies and procedures and training programs and to report on the
results of its efforts to the EEOC over a 2 year period. The agreement with
the EEOC is subject to court approval.
Daniel T. Accordino, CEO of Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. stated, “We
unequivocally do not tolerate sexual harassment in our workplace and have
resolved this litigation without any admission of wrongdoing after many years
of intensive, costly and frustrating litigation with the EEOC. At Carrols, we
take sexual harassment very seriously and have long had comprehensive
procedures and processes in place to encourage our employees to report
violations to our policies and to do so without fear of retaliation. We also
have a long history of thoroughly investigating employee complaints and
terminating employees who have harassed others."
Accordino continued, “We agreed to this negotiated settlement at this stage of
the litigation simply because the settlement payment we’ve agreed to make is
far less than the cost and expense we would incur to continue to litigate each
of the remaining individual claimsto conclusion given the age of the claims
and because hundreds ofpotential witnesses were now, after 14 years, in
scattered locations across the country, ill or deceased. Our agreement with
the EEOC to continue, and in limited circumstances enhance, our best practices
on harassment prevention and training confirms our commitment to providing a
workplace with equal opportunity and free from sexual harassment.”
Carrols has been represented in the litigation from its inception by Mike
Delikat and John Giansello of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, New York and
Jeffrey Mayer of Freeborn and Peters, Chicago, Illinois.
About the Company
Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. is Burger King Corporation's largest
franchisee, globally, with 572 BURGER KING® restaurants as of December 31,
2012 and has operated BURGER KING® restaurants since 1976. For more
information on Carrols, please visit the company's website at www.carrols.com.
Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc.
800-348-1074, ext. 3333
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