HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Hooters is known for their attractive servers and tasty wings, but two men who worked at the establishment claim their male boss sexually harassed them for years.
“Repeated, intense acts which were intended to cause mental harm to the plaintiffs, to humiliate them, to undermine them,” said Jason Oliver, an attorney who is representing both men.
Oliver’s clients PJ Cagnina and Scott Peterson filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging multiple instances of harassment.
One of those instances accuses their boss of throwing one of the men “down to the parking lot ground” and forcibly engaging in simulated sodomy, according to the suit.
They also claim the defendant would “touch male employee’s buttocks when standing behind them.”
Oliver says both his clients were Hooters’ managers at multiple locations around the Southland, including downtown Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, and Hollywood.
They claim they confronted their boss about the behavior and the company investigated him. Within months, he was fired with no explanation as to why.
But soon after, Peterson was also let go, which his attorney argues was in retaliation.
“When they stood up to him, they paid the price. They were punished even more in terms of other types of mistreatment,” Oliver said.
Hooters released a statement that said: “This matter involves a franchised location and its employees in California. We have no independent knowledge of the facts and are therefore unable to comment.”
Neither men work for Hooters anymore and could not speak with CBS2 on-camera Wednesday night, but Oliver says this is not just about money, but is to want to make sure this kind of behavior doesn’t happen again.