Nineteen women who work at the Loop location of skimpy sports bar Tilted Kilt filed a sexual harassment lawsuit Wednesday, months after filing a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The women last week received a "right to sue" notification from the EEOC.
They claim the manager at the Tilted Kilt, located at 17 N. Wabash Ave., touched them inappropriately and made sexual comments and unwanted advances for more than two years.
"There was some very, very severe sexual harassment by a manager at the Tilted Kilt. It would be x-rated, actually, if I told you what was exactly in the complaint, but the girls had to undergo some really severe harassment and retaliation," explained attorney Mark Roth.
The suit names TK Chicago Loop LLC, the franchisee, as well as Tilted Kilt Franchise Operating LLC, the franchisor, as defendants.
The Tilted Kilt, in a statement, said it was made aware of the lawsuit Thursday morning and pointed out that each of its franchised locations are independently owned and operated.
Vice President of Marketing Kristin Cronhardt said the employees named in the suit are employees of the franchisee and not the TKFO, and would file a motion to dismiss the complaint against the franchisor.
"[The company] ... does not tolerate sexual or other types of harassment either within its own organization or within its franchisees’ organizations," Cronhardt said in a written statement.
Many of the women who filed the suit have already quit their jobs at the location, which opened in May 2009.