Office of Civil Rights Enforcement Files Anti-Discrimination Lawsuit against Miami Restaurant
Allegations include sexual harassment and discrimination of victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed an anti-discrimination lawsuit Tuesday against a Miami restaurant and its owner over allegations of sexual harassment of employees. The targets of the harassment include women who were living in a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. The lawsuit is the first legal action filed by the newly formed Office of Civil Rights Enforcement (OCRE).
The lawsuit filed against Chinese Chef’s Buffet, Inc. and owner Yun Chang alleges Chang preyed upon waitresses by engaging in pervasive sex discrimination, sexual assault and other forms of sexual harassment. Other alleged abuses included intentional retaliation against three victims who reported Chang to the OCRE.
“No one should be subjected to discrimination or harassment, and our lawsuit filed by the Office of Civil Rights Enforcement sends a strong message that this type of reprehensible behavior will not be tolerated,” Attorney General Pruitt said. “We’re hopeful the courts will grant our request for an injunction that compels the business and its owner to immediately end the discriminatory practices.”
The lawsuit seeks an immediate injunction against the defendants to stop the harassment and to ensure compliance with the Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act.
Some of the victims were receiving services from the Community Crisis Center in Miami, which is a certified program for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse that receives support from the Attorney General’s Office.
“It’s especially troubling to think that victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence were subjected to such flagrant discrimination and harassment, and were even retaliated against for bringing these abuses to light,” Attorney General Pruitt said. “I’m proud of the work of the attorneys and agents in the Office of Civil Rights Enforcement to bring quick action against this business and its owner to protect employees from discrimination and harassment. We encourage other victims of this restaurant and its owner, or witnesses of the improprieties, to contact the OCRE immediately.”
The OCRE became a division of the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office in 2011. The OCRE investigates, and seeks to conciliate complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. When necessary, the OCRE also files civil actions to enforce Oklahoma’s anti-discrimination laws. To help promote compliance with the law, the OCRE plans to launch educational and training opportunities for employers, civil rights interest groups, and citizens throughout the state.
If you believe you have been discriminated against in employment (wrongful discharge, failure to hire, failure to promote, failure to accommodate a disability, harassment, or some other difference in treatment), or if you believe you have been discriminated against in housing (sale, rental, mortgage lending, threatened, intimidated, coerced and denied a reasonable accommodation or modification), call the OCRE at (405) 521-2029 or visit the AG’s website at www.oag.ok.gov.