NEW ORLEANS (CN) – A manager at International House of Pancakes was sentenced to 15 years in prison for raping an employee after the company ignored several employees’ of his sexual harassment were ignored, a class action claims in Federal Court.
Four named plaintiffs say that International House of Pancakes and its franchisees in Covington, La., responded to numerous complaints of sexual racial and age discrimination by firing the grieved employees.
Plaintiffs says that in 2005 they “telephoned defendant International House of Pancakes, Inc. to advise them of the ongoing persistent sexual harassment by manager Ahab Mohammed,” including “groping, touching, and caressing female employees’ pubic area,” and his denying “promotions and pay raises to female employees who refused to engage in sex.”
When IHOP did not act, and plaintiffs complained of discrimination, they were fired, the complaint states. Plaintiffs say this fit the pattern of IHOP’s retaliating “against those employees who complained of sexually discriminatory treatment, including harassment,” to discourage other employees “from doing likewise.”
They also accuse Mohammed of “habitually and methodically destroying employment applications of African Americans for no other reason than that the applicant was African American.”
Also sued is the franchisee, Jamal & Kamal Inc., and its officers, Jamal Hamidek and Kamal Sbih.
In February this year, Mohamed was convicted of raping an underage employee, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison for it, the complaint states.
Plaintiffs want their jobs back, with seniority and benefits, compensatory and punitive damages. They are represented by Douglas Brown of Hammond, La.