Scottsdale restaurant closes amid federal gay harassment lawsuit
PHOENIX — A Scottsdale restaurant has closed its doors just two months after being sued by the federal government for allegedly allowing the harassment of homosexual employees.
In a two-sentence post on its website, 5th & Wine — formerly located near Goldwater Boulevard and Indian School Road — said it closed for good.
“Thanks for your patronage over the last 7 years! Unfortunately, we have now closed our doors,” the post read in its entirety.
The eatery was sued in late January by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Two employees — one of whom is gay, one of whom is straight — said they were subjected to name calling, inappropriate comments, innuendos and touching. The employees complained to management, who allegedly did nothing to stop the harassment and even took part in some of it.
“Federal law protects against all forms of discrimination based on sex,” EEOC Phoenix District Office Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill said in a release announcing the suit. “Employers cannot allow harassment based on sexual orientation, whether actual or perceived.”
The suit also claims that one of the employees was fired after saying he intended to take legal action.
“We must make sure that employees are not punished for standing up to unlawful misconduct in the workplace,” Elizabeth Cadle, district director of EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, said in the release.
The lawsuit seeks back pay and both compensatory and punitive damages.