WASHINGTON — An upscale New York City steakhouse has agreed to pay $600,000 to settle claims that a male manager sexually harassed nearly two dozen of the restaurant’s male waiters.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says Sparks Steak House failed to stop the manager’s harassment of 22 waiters during a nearly eight-year period at the midtown Manhattan restaurant.

A federal lawsuit filed by the EEOC alleged the misconduct included incidents of the manager groping the buttocks of male waiters, attempting to touch their genitals and making lewd sexual comments.

The settlement requires the restaurant to establish a hotline for reporting discrimination and conduct anti-discrimination training for employees.

A spokesman for the steakhouse did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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