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Waffle House CEO accused of harassing assistant

A former Waffle House executive is in legal trouble after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced from his former assistant. The man, who is currently the firm’s CEO, is accused of forcing his female assistant to perform sexual services in order to keep her job. The woman says she was coerced into performing the degrading acts during her nine-year term with the man.

The woman reportedly submitted to an interview by the Atlanta police in late September, revealing lurid details about the current executive. Officers say the woman’s claims have not been entirely verified, but the investigation in the matter is ongoing.

Allegations from the criminal report state that the woman was harassed as early as 2003, when she started her job as a personal assistant working out of the man’s house. The man reportedly tried to sleep with the woman, and he also sought oral sex from her. When she refused to comply, he settled for manual masturbation, which was a condition of the woman’s employment for nearly a decade. The man also forced the woman to watch pornography, fondled her breasts and often appeared naked in front of her, according to the complaint.

Police documents show that the woman quit her job in June, after her son graduated from high school and earned a college scholarship. She placed the resignation letter in the man’s dresser, in order to spare his wife the humiliation that might come with a public pronouncement.

The woman waited for several months after her resignation to call police. This is not surprising, considering the intimate nature of the alleged harassment. Victims often need time to process their horrifying experiences before they can discuss their harassment.

Police say they have not yet charged the man with any criminal action. Even if the man is not subject to criminal sanctions, however, the woman appears to have a clear case against him in civil court. She could recoup compensatory and punitive damages in civil court under a variety of statutes designed to protect American workers.

Source: CNN Justice, “Waffle House CEO accused of forcing employee to perform sex acts,” Nov. 12, 2012