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  • Writer's pictureKirstin Kennedy

Woman claims sexual harassment by PA restaurant

For immediate release

PITTSBURGH – A woman has alleged that she was sexually harassed and terminated by Buford’s Kitchen in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to a complaint filed in the Western District Court of Pennsylvania, Plaintiff Linda Richardson began working for Buford’s Kitchen as a line cook in June 2018. At that time, she was the only female kitchen employee, according to the complaint. Ms. Richardson alleged that Corporate Chef Jaime Irvine and Kitchen Manager Vincent Wright almost immediately began sexually harassing her by repeatedly making unwanted sexual advancements.

Both men frequently followed Ms. Richardson around the kitchen and made sexually aggressive comments such as, “I’m gonna get that,” according to the filing. Additionally, Ms. Richardson alleged that Mr. Wright would brush his hand against her buttocks without her consent as she passed him in the kitchen. She further alleged that Mr. Irvine made motions and gestures with his hands and pretzel rods meant to simulate oral sex.

According to the filing, Ms. Richardson reported the unwanted sexual advances to the kitchen manager in November 2018. Although the manager acknowledged the harassment, nothing was done to prevent the men from their continued behavior, according to the complaint. Ms. Richardson alleged that she soon after made a second complaint, but, again, nothing was done.

Toward the end of the month, according to the complaint, Ms. Richardson was removed from the employment schedule. When she contacted management, she was told that Mr. Irving would not allow the restaurant to give her any hours, according to the complaint. Ms. Richardson alleged she was informed that she “changed the dynamic of the kitchen.”

Lead Attorney Sean Ruppert alleged in the three-count complaint that Buford’s Kitchen engaged in sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation against Ms. Richardson in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Ms. Richardson filed a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was provided a right to sue. The lawsuit was filed by Attorney Ruppert on February 11, 2020.

Ruppert Manes Narahari is a Pittsburgh-based employment law firm representing workers who have been wrongfully terminated, harassed, or cheated by their employers. The firm also provides business law-related services and represents small businesses and entrepreneurs in startup, transactional, and litigation matters.

For more information on the claims made by Ms. Richardson against Buford’s Kitchen, contact the law office of Ruppert Manes Narahari at 412-626-5626.

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