Two St. Louis area IHOPs pay $975,000 in settlement for sexual harassment

ST. LOUIS – Two International House of Pancakes franchises in the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis will pay nearly $1 million combined to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed on behalf of several employees.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the suit in September and announced the settlement Thursday. The agreement requires the IHOP franchises to pay $975,000 in compensatory damages to 16 harassment victims who worked at locally-owned restaurants in Glen Carbon and Alton.

The EEOC says employees, including some teenagers, were routinely sexually harassed by co-workers and managers. The lawsuit alleged that harassment included offensive comments, groping, physical threats and one instance of attempted forced oral sex.

An email message seeking comment from an IHOP spokeswoman was not immediately returned.