Lawsuit Alleges Fuzzy’s Taco Manager Fired Bartender for Refusing Sexual Advances

A manager at a Fuzzy’s Taco in Little Elm is accused of firing a bartender for refusing his sexual advances, according to a lawsuit filed in Dallas County District Court.

The lawsuit, Erin Norman v. Fuzzy’s Taco Holdings, LLC, et al. No. DC-22-15062 in Dallas’ 68th District Court, alleges that Earnest Wayne Ashburn, who held himself out as the Front of House General Manager at Fuzzy’s on W. Eldorado Parkway in Little Elm, had hired Erin Norman in late 2020 for a bartending position. The lawsuit claims that Ashburn terminated Norman before she could start the job because she asked him to stop sending her sexually explicit text messages and images.

According to the lawsuit, “Ashburn sent Plaintiff a job application and assured her that she would be hired, stating that the application was just a formality to enter her information into Fuzzy’s system.  Ashburn further assured Plaintiff that he would meet with Plaintiff at one of the Fuzzy’s Taco locations near Fuzzy’s Little Elm to complete Plaintiff’s onboarding paperwork.”

Based on Ashburn’s assurances that she had the job, Norman renewed her license with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. On November 1, 2020, Norman completed her hiring paperwork and scheduled her employee orientation for a few days later.

According to the lawsuit, “On November 3, 2020, Ashburn began sending Plaintiff lewd and harassing text messages of a sexual nature.  Specifically, Ashburn told Plaintiff that he wanted to see her breasts, stated that he would ‘get in trouble’ with Plaintiff working at his location, and sent several images of his erect genitalia. Plaintiff repeatedly rejected his advances, told Ashburn to ‘quit it,’ and ultimately, when it became apparent that Ashburn would not stop, ceased responding to Ashburn’s unwanted and sexually explicit text messages.”

A few days later, Ashburn told Norman not to come in for her orientation and told her to take the week off “while he sorted out some alleged staffing issues.” Eventually, both Ashburn and the location’s general manager stopped returning Norman’s calls and texts, effectively terminating her employment.

Fuzzy’s terminated Norman on the basis of her sex and in retaliation for refusing to acquiesce to Ashburn’s sexual advances, says Norman’s attorney, Jennifer Spencer, of Dallas’ Jackson Spencer Law

“It’s sadly not uncommon for employees to be subjected to this kind of harassment on the job,” Spencer says. “We are asking not only for Fuzzy’s to make our client whole, but we’re also seeking a change in corporate policy that would protect future employees from this kind of harassment.”

About Jackson Spencer Law

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