Belleville, IL- A female employee for the Captain D’s restaurant in Belleville alleges she was subjected to a hostile work environment through repeated sexual harassment and her employer took no steps to stop her abuser.
In a 37 page complaint, Eulescia Willis says that while she was working at the restaurant in 2011, sales associate James Soberalski began touching her inappropriately “by pinching her, hitting her, groping her and making uninvited advances toward her.” Willis also stated that the harassment escalated to intentional groping and grabbing of her breasts, buttocks and vaginal area.
The behavior persisted for three months and culminated in an assault. According to the suit, Soberalski cornered Willis in a bathroom, sexually assaulted her and refused to let her leave.
Willis said she informed her supervisor, Derek Santiago, of the sexual harassment and assault, but he “took no action to stop the behavior, effectively ratifying the conduct.” She also alleges she complained with Captain D’s corporate office, but the company never responded to her.
Immediately following the assault, Willis was forced to quit since Soberalski was not disciplined. The lawsuit said Willis experienced “constant verbal and physical abuse and harassment, which no reasonable person should be forced to endure.”
Sexual harassment victims often feel humiliated and abused. Their employer’s refusal to halt the misconduct or discipline the abuser makes matter worse.
The lawsuit named Captain D’s parent company Sun Capital Partners Inc., Soberalski and Santiago. Willis’ sexual harassment attorney is seeking $650,000 for damages and lost wages.