Spotted Pig Restaurateur Will Pay $240,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment Case


Still, the agreement states that she shares some responsibility for the hostile workplace: “Except for a short period during 2015, the Spotted Pig maintained no human resources department, no sexual harassment policy, and no process by which employees could report complaints about Friedman other than complaining to the General Manager, Friedman himself, or Bloomfield. Despite her ownership and managerial role in the company, Bloomfield took no action to mitigate or prevent future harassment.”

In an October 2018 interview for The Times, Ms. Bloomfield acknowledged not doing enough to protect employees, but said that she also had been manipulated and terrorized by Mr. Friedman during their working relationship. At one time, the two operated seven restaurants together in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. (Today, only two remain open: the Spotted Pig and the Breslin, in the Ace Hotel in Manhattan, where Ms. Bloomfield is the chef.) She did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the settlement.

Erin Fein, who worked at the Spotted Pig and also at Hearth & Hound, the Los Angeles restaurant that Mr. Friedman and Ms. Bloomfield opened days before the Times report was published, said she was “blown away” by the investigation and its resolution. After two decades in the restaurant business, being constantly touched and propositioned by male bosses and customers, “you feel powerless and afraid and you assume that nothing will be done,” she said.

The settlement is a victory for working women, said Trish Nelson, a longtime server who said she was frequently harassed by Mr. Friedman and his guests. “Change is possible,” she said at the news conference. “It’s happening right this very minute.”

Still, there is still a long way to go, she said. “We know we have only scratched the surface of the problems in this industry.”

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