Lawsuit From Former Mokena Rosati's Cashier Claims Sexual Harassment By Boss

The Joliet woman sued the owner of the Rosati's restaurants in Mokena, Lemont and Lockport.

Credit: Getty
Credit: Getty
A former cashier at the Mokena Rosati's filed a lawsuit alleging the restaurant owner sexually harassed her and then fired her when she complained after only 16 days on the job.

Joliet resident Jennifer Johnson's suit named Rosati's owner Mushtaq Kanchwala and the three restaurants he owns as defendants. Kanchwala owns the Rosati's restaurants in Mokena, Lemont and Lockport, the suit said.

Kanchwala hired Johnson to work for him as a cashier in Aug. 12, 2011, and she was assigned to the Mokena and Lockport restaurants, the lawsuit said. The sexual harassment allegedly cropped up right from her start at the restaurants.

"Beginning immediately upon her hire and up to her termination, (Johnson) was subjected to a repeated pattern of differential treatment on the basis of her sex and sexual harassment by her supervisor, Kanchwala," said the lawsuit, which was filed in Will County court.

The lawsuit detailed 17 alleged examples of Kanchwala's harassment. They were, according to the suit:
  • "Being asked personal questions about her marital status and children in (Kanchwala's) interview."
  • "Requiring her to wear a tank top as her uniform."
  • "Telling her to buy more tight jeans to wear to work."
  • "Touching her on her arm and middle and lower back."
  • "Brushing his body past her instead of asking her to move."
  • "Asking her about her husband and her sex life."
  • "Asking her if she missed him."
  • "Asking her if he could come over to her house with money and alcohol."
  • "Asking her if she found him attractive."
  • "Asking her for sex in exchange for money."
  • "Offering to be her 'sugar daddy.'"
  • "Telling her nobody needs to know if she had sex with him for money."
  • "Asking her to go to a hotel with him for sex."
  • "Scheduling her to work in the store alone on the days he worked at Lockport."
  • "Requiring her to work at Mokena when he worked there, and ... "
  • "Cutting her hours and terminating her after she opposed the sexual harassment and made complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination."
Johnson was fired in Aug. 28, 2011, the lawsuit said.

Kanchwala later sold the Lockport Rosati's and "became the owner" of the one in Lemont, the suit said.

Besides losing her job and income, the lawsuit claims Johnson suffered "severe mental and emotional distress, physical harm, embarrassment and humiliation, damage to reputation and attorney's fees and costs."
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Edward Andrysiak January 30, 2014 at 02:37 PM
I thought it was not against the law to be a racist...you should be free to feel, speak and think what you want. I guess a good example is it is not against the law to own a sports car that will do 180 mph. Only if you break speed limits do you feel the hurt. In short, there is a lot of room in the laws we have to still express yourself.
Meghan Courtright January 30, 2014 at 09:47 PM
Bob Wadas, oh it was a joke. Well, then. har har har It's so hard to tell sincere racism from a racist joke these days. Edward, it's not against the law at all. Just against common sense. I don't get the car metaphor but then I'm not much into cars.
Henry Doomer February 01, 2014 at 09:38 AM
i think the bigger picture is this woman waited until now to file...must be broke or something. hope she does not get a dime...if it was that bad she would have done something in 2011..not 2014..
Beacon February 03, 2014 at 12:27 AM
It doesn't go straight to court. There is a 300 day statute of limitations within which she had to file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC then tries to resolve the complaint through the administrative process. Once she exhausts her administrative means, she receives a Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC. She then has 90 days to file her suit.
GADFLY February 20, 2014 at 05:07 PM
EEOC is ineffectual and right to sue does no one any good unless they can actually afford a lawyer AND find a lawyer that will actually take the case...which is not guaranteed.


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