A North Carolina waitress was fired after telling supervisors at her restaurant that a manager groped her, WBTV-TV reports.
Lauren Jones told the station she was a waitress at Sonny’s Barbecue in Charlotte for about a month when her manager came up behind her and grabbed her butt at the end of her shift.
“I immediately turned around with my left elbow, and kind of surprisingly looked at him in his face, and said ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing?’” she told WBTV.
Jones decided to report the incident to prevent it from happening again.
“I specifically told him I’m not looking for a lawsuit, I’m not looking for anything. If we can handle in the four walls of Sonny’s, I’m ok with that,” she told the station.
But what happened next surprised her. She was fired in a meeting with the restaurant’s general manager and Ed Tubel, who owns the Sonny’s franchise. The manager she accused of grabbing her was also present.
Jones made a recording of the meeting on her cell phone and gave it to Fox54.
In the recording, a male at the meeting tells Jones he doesn’t believe her because she had been with the company less than a month and the manager had been with them 15 years with no complaints. When Jones tried to say what happened, the man interrupted her and said he doesn’t “accept” her story.
“All I want here is to be on record that he did touch me,” she says in the recording.
The man responds, “Well we can’t accept that… It is on record, but I don’t accept it.”
At the end of the meeting, Tubel tells her, “We don’t want you to quit. We’re terminating you.”
Fox54 interviewed employment law attorney Chris Strianese, who said what he heard in Jones’ recording seemed illegal.
“My initial impression is that if you’re going to put together a seminar on the wrong way to fire someone, this would be the first exhibit in that seminar,” Strianese told WBTV. “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prevents and prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. But it also prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee for complaining about sexual harassment in the workplace.”
Strianese added that the actions of restaurant owners and management could end up costing them if the matter went before a jury.
“If I were on that jury, and I deal with this a lot, I would have a very easy time concluding that… the employer has engaged in illegal conduct here,” Strianese said. “The consequences for this are really quite serious. Judges and juries do not like employers who retaliate.”
The president of Tricor, Tubel’s franchise company, doubled down on blaming Jones for coming forward after working for the company for under a month.
“Sonny’s Bar B Q has operated established family oriented restaurants in the Charlotte area for 37 years,” Theresa Randall said in a statement to WBTV. “It is unfortunate that a person who was employed at one of our restaurants for less than a month has decided to take her grievances to the news media. Sonny’s will not respond to personnel matters through the news media.”
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention,” a spokesperson said. “The issue has been resolved and everything is visible.”
According to the station, viewers began slamming Sonny’s online shortly after its initial report on Jones’ firing.
“Shame on you Sonny’s. I don’t care if she only worked for you for 1 day!” one Facebook user wrote. “Your franchise owner is not only misogynistic he is also unethical and his actions are illegal.”
The company initially responded to each comment by saying that each restaurant was owned by independent owners and that it was “our understanding that this is an ongoing matter that is being addressed by the franchisee.”
Watch the report, from WBTV, as posted here:
Obama’s chief economist warns of ‘a very high chance’ Trump’s trade war could cause 2020 recession
The former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama warned of "a very high chance" of Trump's trade war with China resulting in a recession -- "just in time for 2020."
Austan Goolsbee was interviewed by MSNBC's John Heilemann on Friday after the DJIA closed down over 600 points after the trade war escalated on Friday.
"Just give us, if you would, Austan, your sense of what has unfolded today and how bad it is," Heilemann asked.
"Yes, it’s terrible, I'm phoning from a bunker as we speak," Goolsbee replied.
"There hasn’t been a day like this in a very long time. Yes, the markets sell a lot but the fact we’re going to have an escalating trade war, the president of the United States is publicly declaring the head of the Fed an enemy of the state and, oh, by the way, 40% of the Amazon is on fire and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is being treated for pancreatic cancer," he continued. "If this is on a Friday, it makes it bad for Monday."
MSNBC anchor blasts Trump’s ‘lunacy’ after ‘a Twitter tirade that sent the Dow spiraling’
The New York Stock Exchange closed down over 600 points on Friday as President Donald Trump's trade war with China escalated.
MSNBC anchor John Heilemann said, "we’re hours away for the president taking off to the G7 summit in Bairritz, France, where allies are bracing for the Trump-fueled mayhem that is now 100% certain to ensue, with Trump like a drunken traveler in the departure lounge about to take a trip that he dreads, already sewing global chaos, days-long public meltdown typically moved from words to actions."
"Donald Trump beginning this day with a Twitter tirade that sent the Dow spiraling, closing down more than 600 points today and escalating his trade war with China with these norm-shattering, power-abusing words in this tweet," he said, putting the tweet on-screen.
‘Pretty brutal day on Wall St’: CNN explains impact of Trump’s trade wars and Twitter tirades
On Friday, President Donald Trump went on a Twitter tirade against China.
....better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019