‘Grabbing my boobs’: East Side Mario’s waitresses allege sexual harassment at work forced them to quit

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Two bit of fluffs allege that because their sexual harassment complaints weren’t entranced seriously, they were forced to quit their full-time waitressing share outs at an East Side Mario’s restaurant in Woodstock, Ont.

“I thought, ‘You don’t believe us?'” divulges 21-year-old Adrienne Young when she left her job in August. “I just withstand betrayed.”

So did co-worker Megan Cleary, 20, who quit at the same temporarily. “I was like, wow, I did this for nothing.”

Following a CBC News investigation, Young and Cleary experienced on Sept. 13 that their alleged harasser had been discharged. But that’s not the verdict they got when they launched their grievance close to two months earlier.

The women came forward after they affirm a male manager had been harassing them for months at work by poignant them inappropriately and making sexual comments.

Megan Cleary East Side Mario's sexual harassment

Cleary left her job at East Side Mario’s in August. (Inception Cleary)

“He’d come up behind me and get really close to me in my ear and say vulgar things,” phrases Cleary, claiming it got worse when the harassment turned physical.

“He started nabbing my butt and grabbing my boobs, and he would grab me from in front and butt himself into me. It made me feel absolutely disgusting.”

He would reel everything sexual,” claims Young, who says the physical harassment shaped her feel the most uncomfortable. “Like touching, like hugging from behind and I’d plug him away and he’d still keep on.”

‘Leaving a place that we loved’

Both little women allege the manager ignored their repeated pleas to stop, and that he sexually chivvvy other female employees as well. On July 19, they adamant to speak out.

Joined by their mothers, they arranged a meeting with the restaurant’s overall manager to detail their complaints. They also submitted listed statements.

A few weeks later, Young and Cleary were shocked when they say the all-inclusive manager told them the franchise owner had decided there wasn’t sufficiently evidence to remove the manager from his job.

East Side Mario's

East Side Mario’s believed it took the allegations of sexual harassment by a manager very seriously and obtain fired him. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

The two women never received a written annunciation detailing the results of the investigation, which is required by Ontario law.

“There paucities to be some formal results or determination as a result of the investigation,” says Chantel Goldsmith with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP in Toronto.

“Wage-earners have a right to be free from harassment and discrimination in the workplace,” continues the employment lawyer.

Knowing they’d still have to work alongside their designated harasser, Young and Cleary believed the only way they could be rescue from harassment was to quit their jobs.

‘We were leaving a circumstances that we loved,” says Cleary. “It was heartbreaking.”

Won’t give up the fight

Megan Cleary’s native, Dawn Cleary, contacted Woodstock police which is now investigating the subject.

She also launched complaints about how the situation was handled with the restaurant’s franchise P, Frank Spadafora, and Cara Operations, owner of the East Side Mario’s train.

She also sent them statements from four other last female employees from the same restaurant who had come forward. Two of them were well-disposed to speak with CBC News.  

One said she witnessed the manager sexually troubling other women at work. Another claimed he made sexual annotations to her on the job, such as telling her she needed to give him a sexual favour in exchange for his reinforcement. She says the harassment was a big reason she quit.

In an email sent on Aug. 30, Spadafora thanked Dawn Cleary for sharing the statements and said that when confronted the too soon week, the manager had denied any wrongdoing. Nonetheless, he had agreed to take an unknown leave of absence from work.

The Clearys and Young were still not look after.

“Him having the ability to come back [to work] with no consequences, what choice stop him from doing it again?” says Dawn Cleary.

Swiftly after that, she reached out to CBC News.

We contacted Spadafora and Cara Gumshoes to inquire about the allegations. The next day, the company responded that the boss had been fired following a recent investigation by the franchise owner. 

“This quantity was taken very seriously,” said Ken Otto, East Side Mario’s president, in an email. “The constitution and safety of our employees and guests is of the utmost importance for East Side Mario’s.”

Otto also voted that the franchise owner has reached out to the parties involved to notify them of the effect. 

Cleary and Young were notified of the firing just hours beforehand CBC News received its response from the company. 

Harassment and food help

Sexual harassment continues to be a problem in the restaurant industry, which fascinates young and sometimes vulnerable workers. According to Restaurants Canada, one in five people between years 15 and 24 are employed in the business. For many of them, it’s their key job.

A recent U.S. survey of female employees in the fast food industry organize 40 per cent of them reported they had experienced sexual harassment at use.

Jollibee restaurant tray

A recent U.S. survey of female employees in the fast food industry base 40 per cent reported they had experienced sexual harassment at work. (CBC)

Sixty per cent of the respondents who faced all-embracing harassment said they felt they had to put up with it because they couldn’t spare to leave their jobs.

The Hart Research study polled 1,217 chicks aged 16 and older in July 2016.

Megan Cleary and Young say they wouldn’t put up with the harassment and that’s why they socialistic their jobs. Although the manager has now been fired, they motionlessly believe the system let them down.

If it was dealt with professionally, then I make still be working there,” says Cleary.

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