ICRC finds probable cause against LaSain Corporation, Super Submarine Restaurant

The Deputy Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to statutory authority and procedural regulations, hereby issues the following findings.  Probable cause exists to believe that an unlawful discriminatory practice occurred in this instance. 

On July 15, 2013, Complainant filed a Complaint with the Commission against LaSain Corporation d/b/a Super Submarine Restaurant (“Respondent”) alleging discrimination on the basis of sex in violation of the Indiana Civil Rights Law.  Accordingly, the Commission has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter of this Complaint.  An investigation has been completed.  Both parties have had an opportunity to submit evidence.  Based on the final investigative report and a review of the relevant files and records, the Deputy Director now finds the following:

The issue presented to the Commission is whether Complainant was subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace.

By way of background, Complainant was employed as a part-time employee at Respondent’s restaurant.  At all times relevant to the Complaint, Respondent lacked an employee handbook, sexual harassment policy, or disciplinary policy.  During the course of Complainant’s tenure with Respondent, evidence suggests that Complainant was subjected to sexually explicit comments and actions.  Specifically, Complainant asserts and witness testimony substantiates that one of the owners (male owner) commented that female customers had “nice tits” or “awesome tits,” aggressively grabbed Complainant, and made sexual advances toward her.  Complainant further asserts that the male owner “dry humped” her as she was trying to lock the door of the restaurant, repeatedly asked to see her breasts, grabbed her breasts, rubbed against her buttocks, asked her to touch his genitals, and demanded to see her nipples. Evidence shows that Complainant repeatedly asked the male owner to stop the harassment but to no avail. Ultimately, after reporting the incidents to Respondent’s female co-owner, she (female owner) failed to take corrective action and terminated Complainant’s employment.   

Despite Respondent’s assertions, sufficient evidence exists to believe that a discriminatory practice occurred as alleged. Specifically, witness testimony corroborates Complainant’s assertions that the male owner subjected her to unwanted actions and behaviors of a sexual nature and that the female owner failed to take corrective action once the behavior was reported. Moreover, evidence suggests that Complainant filed a police report alleging the same facts.  As such and based upon the aforementioned, probable cause exists to believe that an unlawful discriminatory practice occurred as alleged. 

A public hearing is necessary to determine whether a violation of the Indiana Civil Rights Law occurred as alleged herein.