CHECOTAH, Okla. (KFOR) – A McDonald’s restaurant in Checotah, Oklahoma, is facing a lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for allegedly allowing a manager to continue leadership after he sexually harassed a 17-year-old worker.

According to the suit, an adult male supervisor sexually harassed a teen girl who worked under his supervision in or around November 2021.

According to EEOC, after subjecting the teenager to sexual comments and innuendo for about a month, the male supervisor grabbed her by the waist in a dark, isolated storage shed and said he could rape her.

“Unfortunately, workplace sexual harassment remains a persistent problem, and teen workers are particularly vulnerable,” said Andrea G. Baran, regional attorney for the EEOC’s St. Louis District Office. “Young victims may lack the self-confidence to challenge unwelcome conduct, and they can be susceptible to being taken advantage of by older workers. Employers have a responsibility to protect these young employees from unlawful harassment.”

The EEOC says when the franchise owner, Arch Fellow North LLC, learned about the incident and other sexual harassment by the supervisor, the company allowed the supervisor to continue supervising the victim and other teenage girls. As a result, the teenage worker had to resign and was constructively discharged.

David Davis, director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District office, said, “As frequent employers of young people, fast food businesses must be vigilant to ensure teen workers are not sexually harassed by older managers.”

The EEOC filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma after first attempting to reach a settlement.

KFOR has reached out to Arch Fellow North LLC for comment, but has not heard back.