Ala. KFC owner to pay sexual harassment settlement

MOBILE, AL (AP) - The owner of an Alabama Kentucky Fried Chicken will pay 19 female employees more than $1 million to settle sexual harassment claims.

A suit, filed in March 2009 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of the women, leveled accusations against Jack Marshall Foods, Inc., doing business as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Inc. The restaurant was in Monroeville.

The suit accused the business of tolerating male employees openly describing sexual desires and interests with female employees and engaging in unwelcome sexual touching and commenting. The suit said at least three of the women were teenagers at the time.

In a press release Jack Marshall Foods said Tuesday that it fired the cooks in question before the suit and that not all of the claims were found to be true. The company says it settled the case rather than pursue lengthy litigation.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)