(CN) – A Midtown Manhattan restaurant may be liable to female employees who say they were fired after they complained about being forcibly weighed, a New York appeals court ruled.
Kristen McRedmond and a co-worker filed suit against Sutton Place Restaurant and Bar, claiming retaliatory termination, battery, false imprisonment and hostile work environment.
McRedmond testified that her two-year employment at the restaurant was marked by inappropriate touching and vulgar sexual comments from co-worker Neil Hanafy.
Hanafy also repeatedly asked McRedmond how much she weighed and once picked her up to put her on a scale, McRedmond testified.
Other co-workers testified that they witnessed and sometimes experienced Hanafy’s conduct firsthand.
Hanafy denied wrongdoing, but the New York County Supreme Court refused to dismiss the case.
The appellate division’s First Department affirmed last week that the case should go to trial.
“Hanafy’s denial that he engaged in any of the alleged conduct and the other individual defendants’ denial of any knowledge of such conduct raise genuine credibility issues that the court may not decide on a motion for summary judgment,” the unsigned opinion states.
“Both plaintiffs made a prima facie case of retaliation by testifying that they were terminated from their employment shortly after complaining about an incident in which all the female employees were forcibly weighed,” the justices added.