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Draper Development LLC to Pay $80,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Suit

Former General Manager at Subway Franchise in Rotterdam Sent Texts to 17-year-old Girls Offering Jobs in Exchange for Sex, Federal Agency Says

NEW YORK - Draper Development LLC, the owner-operator of over a dozen Subway franchises in the Albany and Schenectady area, will pay $80,000 and take other steps to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of New York (EEOC v. Draper Development, LLC Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-877), Nick Kelly, a former general manager at Draper's Rotterdam Square Mall location, sent text messages to two female applicants offering a job in exchange for sex, both of whom were 17 years old at the time. In one case, Kelly's text message said, "Bang my brains out, and the job is yours." In both cases, when the young women did not comply, they were not hired. 

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits sexual harassment, including requesting sexual favors in exchange for jobs, and refusing to hire applicants who do not comply with sexual advances.  The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to paying $80,000 to the two victims, Draper will: distribute a revised policy prohibiting sexual harassment; conduct anti-harassment training for managers and employees; post a public notice about the settlement; and report all sexual harassment complaints to the EEOC.

"No teenager who is just beginning to navigate the working world should ever have to deal with unwelcome sexual advances as part of the hiring process," said Charles F. Coleman, Jr., the EEOC lead trial attorney. "The remedial provisions of the consent decree are designed to ensure such behavior never occurs again at this restaurant."

EEOC Regional Attorney Jeffrey Burstein said, "Conditioning hiring in exchange for sexual favors, known as quid-pro-quo sexual harassment, is exactly the type of behavior that has made the deserved momentum around #MeToo continue to grow stronger. The EEOC is determined to do its part to ensure sexual harassment of this kind is eradicated from the workplace."

The EEOC's New York District Office has jurisdiction over and is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and northern New Jersey.  The Buffalo Local Office of the EEOC investigated this case.

Preventing harassment through systemic enforcement and targeted outreach is a national priority identified by the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).  To learn more about EEOC's strategic plan and enforcement priorities, visit http://www.eeoc.gov/EEOC/plan/sep.cfm.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.