Saturday, September 23, 2023
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Shirtless at the Cracker Barrel

COVINGTON, Ky. (CN) - A Cracker Barrel manager forced waitresses - but not waiters - to take off their shirts and iron them in open-area training rooms, says a waitress who claims she was fired for complaining of it.

In her federal complaint, Tammy Brock says that while worked at a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in Florence, Ky., her manager Derek Robinson repeatedly told her to "remove her shirt and iron it." She says Robinson "singled out female employees to iron their shirt, not asking male employees to iron their shirts, even when the male employee shirts were wrinkled."

One time, Brock says, Robinson told her to take her shirt off and iron it and then "purposefully sent a male employee into the room to reseat a television," causing her to be exposed shirtless.

Brock claims Robinson put the iron and ironing board in an open training room so she "could not close off the room from male employees."

When she complained to the human resources department about the hostile work environment, she says, Robinson retaliated by writing her up for "actions which were common practice in the restaurant." Then he suspended her and fired her, she says.

Brock seeks damages for sexual harassment, hostile work environment and vicarious liability.

She is represented by Eric Deters of Independence, Ky.

Cracker Barrel has been sued 370 times in the past 5 years, according to the Courthouse News database, often by employees and former employees.

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