Settles Federal Charges the Casual Dining Chain Allowed Female Employees, including a Teen, to be Sexually Harassed, Retaliated Against, and Forced to Resign
EVERETT, Wash. – Restaurant chain Red Robin International, Inc. agreed to pay $600,000 to four former employees and provide other injunctive relief to resolve a sexual harassment, retaliation and constructive discharge lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, a 45-year-old male line cook at Red Robin’s Everett, Washington restaurant was allowed to sexually harass female employees on a daily basis with offensive sexual comments, requests for sex, unwanted remarks about their bodies, leering, and touching without their consent. At the time of the harassment, one of the victims was an 18-year-old line cook who had just graduated from high school. Despite multiple female employees reporting the conduct to various managers, Red Robin failed to take prompt or effective action to stop the harassment, forcing one female server to quit.

Such alleged conduct violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace and requires employers to investigate complaints of sexual harassment and take measures to prevent harassment. An employer may also violate Title VII if its failure to intervene and stop unlawful harassment results in a workplace becoming so intolerable that an employee has no choice but to quit.

The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Red Robin International, Inc., Case No. 2:22-cv-01378) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process. The government’s litigation was led by EEOC Senior Trial Attorneys May Che and Mariko Ashley.

Under the three-year court-approved consent decree settling the suit, Red Robin will pay $600,000 to four former employees. For 12 Washington state locations, Red Robin will also hire a third party with expertise in employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation to review its policies, assist with investigations and conduct training for employees, managers, and human resources investigators. Red Robin must also adopt policies holding its managers and supervisors accountable for compliance with EEO policies and procedures.

“Everyone has the right to work in an environment free from harassment and retaliation,” said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney May Che. “Employers must be held responsible when they fail in their responsibility to protect workers.”

Elizabeth M. Cannon, director of the EEOC’s Seattle Field Office, said, “Not only should employers strive to prevent harassment and discrimination, they must also protect workers who are brave enough to speak out against it when it occurs. This resolution sends a clear message that sexual harassment is unacceptable and must be met with prompt remedial action. We will continue to relentlessly pursue justice for victims of workplace sexual harassment and retaliation.”

Red Robin is a publicly traded casual dining chain based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, and employs over 21,000 workers in over 400 locations nationwide.

For more information about on sexual harassment, please visit:

The EEOC’s Youth@Work website presents information for teens and other young workers about employment discrimination, including curriculum guides for students and teachers and videos to help young workers learn about their rights and responsibilities.

The EEOC’s Seattle Field Office has jurisdiction over Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

The EEOC prevents and remedies unlawful employment discrimination and advances equal opportunity for all. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.