Johnny Utah’s, a Wild-Wild West bar in New York City is being sued for forcing employees to endure sexual harassment and degradation. They were made to dress provocatively with lots of make-up, sit on male customer’s laps, wrestle in a tiny paddling pool covered in cranberry sauce, and kiss co-workers topless whilst riding on a mechanical bull.
If they refused to participate, they would be called “ugly” and “stupid”, sometimes have their hours cut, and reminded that there was always another 20 girls who could easily replace them. They were also forced to endure unwanted sexual comments off customers, and if they complained were told that they were not being team players.
Customers were also encouraged to take photographs and videos of the girls as they worked in their cut-off short and cut-off shirts and danced on bars, without their consent, and would often see their pictures on social media sites. Employees were also expected to remove engagement or weddings rings to seem ‘available’, and party with the managers and their male friends.
In summary, the lawsuit by former employees complains against the highly sexualized work environment, where managers increased profits by exploiting, degrading and humiliating female employees, and threatening them with their jobs if they did not comply. There have also been allegations made that they were cheating workers out of legal wages, including overtime.
The bar managers have refused to make any comments regarding the lawsuit and treatment of female employees. If you have been subjected to any such treatment, contact us now.