TRENTON – An LBI eatery settled with an employee to resolve a case of workplace sexual harassment claims.
Playa Bowls in Beach Haven paid $20,000 to a 16-year-old female employee, who was hired as a server in August 2018. The girl alleged she received unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcomed behavior from her supervisor.
A complaint was filed by the girl’s mother on behalf of her, in which the teen claimed “that her supervisor inappropriately touched her back and arms on multiple occasions and also asked one of her co-workers if the complainant would have sex with him,” according to a Thursday press announcement from The Division of Civil Rights.
The girl alleged that the supervisor made inappropriate comments about body part of female employees.
“The girl also alleged that she witnessed her supervisor pushing another female co-worker’s head down toward his genitals. Playa Bowls denied the allegations in full,” the release said.
The division, under the direction of New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, did not release the girl’s name.
The settlement also calls for Playa Bowls to train their employees on sexual harassment prevention.
Judy Musa, a partner with MoJJo Collaborative Communications, issued this statement Friday on behalf of Playa Bowls:
“We would like to clarify a few points in the $20,000 lawsuit of a Playa Bowls franchisee that your news outlet is covering:
“The sexual harassment settlement cited in this story involves a charge against, and settlement by, Bowls & Dreams Corp, which is a Playa Bowls franchisee. This lawsuit does not pertain to anyone in management or directly employed by Playa Bowls.
“When we enter into a franchisee agreement, we make known that it is our policy and practice to provide and promote equal employment opportunities and to maintain a workplace that treats all employees equally, fairly and professionally, with dignity and respect.
“We have met with the franchisee partners and have been assured that there is new management and stricter enforcement of professional standards in place. We at Playa Bowls will not tolerate any violation of our anti-harassment and non-discrimination policies. We are reiterating this policy to all of our franchisees.”