Woman Claims Bar Forced Her Out of Town

     SAVANNAH, Ga. (CN) — A 27-year-old woman says her former boss sexually harassed her, which caused her to quit working at his bar before she was forced out of town due to lack of work.
     On Monday, Hillary Fitzhugh sued AB McDonough’s Inc. and its owner, William R. Lee Sr. aka Billy Lee, in Southern Georgia Federal Court.
     Lee is the CEO, CFO, secretary, and owner of Savannah bar and restaurant McDonough’s, according to the complaint. He also owns the more upscale dining venue, Billy’s Place, upstairs.
     Fitzhugh was a bartender at Billy’s upstairs restaurants where she was “subjected to severe and sexually harassing comments,” the lawsuit alleges. Fitzhugh claims Lee talked about her breasts and made other sexually suggestive comments.
     “Mr. Lee’s behavior escalated to physically assaulting Ms. Fitzhugh, grabbing her bottom and rubbing her thighs,” the 12-page complaint states. “Mr. Lee’s ‘posse’ of friends that came into Billy’s Place on a frequent basis would act inappropriately towards her, although they would back off when she made it clear that their advances were unwelcome. Billy Lee sexually harassed other female employees and customers.”
     Fitzhugh says she “refused to return to work” after Lee accused her of having sex with a co-worker at the bar.
     She began working at a local Savannah café, according to the lawsuit. Her boss at the café then let her go when she found out Fitzhugh filed a sexual harassment claim against Lee and McDonough’s, Fitzhugh claims.
     Fitzhugh says she moved out of Savannah soon after.
     “As a result of being unable to obtain employment in Savannah as a result of defendants’ actions (by and through their employees), Ms. Fitzhugh had to move out of town,” the complaint states. (Parentheses in original.)
     The defendant’s attorney of 15 years, Mark Tate of the Tate Law Group, told Courthouse News, “The complaint contains such an egregious level of nonsense, such as ‘the premises were monitored with iPads’… it’s filled with delusions of a histrionic young woman.”
     “We expect the complaint to be dismissed,” Tate said.
     Fitzhugh seeks punitive damages. She is represented by Catherine Bowman of the Bowman Law Office in Savannah, who did not return Courthouse News’ request for comment.

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