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Sunday 22 September 2019
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Albany Area Subway Restaurant Agrees to $80,000 Settlement in EEOC Sexual Harassment Suit

NEW YORK – Draper Development LLC, the owner of more than a dozen Subway franchises in the Albany and Schenectady areas have agreed to pay $80,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit involving two teenage girls.

The lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges that in in 2013 Nick Kelly, a former general manager at the company’s Rotterdam Square Mall location sent texts to the two female applicants—both 17 years old at the time—offering them a job for sex.

“Bang my brains out, and the job is yours,” Kelly said in one text. “How badly do you need a job? We swap pictures and decide.”

“No teenager who is just beginning to navigate the working world should ever have to deal with unwelcome sexual advances as part of the hiring process,” said Charles F. Coleman, Jr., the EEOC lead trial attorney. “The remedial provisions of the consent decree are designed to ensure such behavior never occurs again at this restaurant.”

Court papers say Kelly was fired on Oct. 18, 2013, three days after sending the texts.

“We had this one bad apple that put so much stress on the company, and we feel horrible for the victims. We’re glad it’s over,” Lawrence Jasenski, CEO and co-owner of Draper Development, said, according to the Albany Times Union. “We’re only as strong as our weakest link, and we had a really weak link with this one individual.”

In addition to paying $80,000 to the two victims, the EEOC says Draper agreed to distribute a revised policy prohibiting sexual harassment; conduct anti-harassment training for managers and employees; post a public notice about the settlement; and report all sexual harassment complaints to the EEOC.

“Conditioning hiring in exchange for sexual favors, known as quid-pro-quo sexual harassment, is exactly the type of behavior that has made the deserved momentum around #MeToo continue to grow stronger. The EEOC is determined to do its part to ensure sexual harassment of this kind is eradicated from the workplace,” EEOC Regional Attorney Jeffrey Burstein said.

The Buffalo Local Office of the EEOC investigated this case.