The Guardian published an article last Friday about a pair of high-profile lawsuits alleging that Los Serranos Golf Club repeatedly failed to protect four young women from a sexual harasser who worked as the club’s executive chef for more than two decades. The women are represented by Lauren Teukolsky and Zoe Tucker of UNITE HERE Local 11.
The women all began working at Los Serranos in 2021 as line cooks and event servers. They were all between the ages of 17 and 20 at the time. They allege that the Executive Chef, who had worked there for decades, made inappropriate romantic and sexual overtures towards them, frequently commented on their physical appearance, and engaged in inappropriate touching. They allege that the chef would loudly compare their bodies and other physical attributes in crude terms with other male kitchen workers outside of their presence. They allege that after they complained, the chef was only demoted, not fired, and they were required to continue working alongside him.
According to the Guardian’s article, sexual harassment is pervasive in the restaurant service and hospitality industries in the US. The article cites a 2021 survey by One Fair Wage that found over 70% of female restaurant employees have been sexually harassed at least once while working in the industry.
The lawsuits are especially significant because they target JC Resorts, a luxury resort operator in Southern California that employs Los Serranos’ workers and has spent millions to oppose legislation that would improve protections against sexual harassment for women in the workplace. Ms. Teukolsky previously filed a sex harassment lawsuit against the Terranea, another luxury resort operated by JC Resorts. Ms. Teukolsky’s client, Sandra Pezqueda, was named a TIME “Person of the Year” after she sued JC Resorts based on sexual harassment she suffered while employed at the Terranea.
Ms. Teukolsky, has fought to protect employees rights for over 20 years and has represented women in high-profile sexual harassment cases in the past. Most recently, Ms. Teukolsky represented a woman who was sexually harassed while working at Los Angeles’ Chateau Marmont. The lawsuit was covered by the Hollywood Reporter and was one of several lawsuits against the Chateau that prompted a celebrity boycott of the legendary hotel.
To read the Guardian’s article in its entirety, click here. If you believe you’ve been sexually harassed at the workplace and want to get in touch with Teukolsky Law, click here.
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Lauren Teukolsky is the founder and owner of Teukolsky Law, A Professional Corporation.