LIHUE — A Kauai hula dancer has filed a lawsuit against a restaurant and hotel, stating she was retaliated against on the basis of her sex and for reporting sexual harassment and the failure to protect her from sexual harassment.
The lawsuit filed in Fifth Circuit Court states a female employee at Lava Lava Lounge was sexually harassed by a manager at Kauai Shores Hotel when it was operated by Aqua Hotels &Resorts LLC.
Lava Lava Lounge did not return requests for an interview Monday.
A wife and mother of three, the victim eventually had to leave her job because of the alleged harassment, which allegedly took place from August 2016 and March 2018.
According to the lawsuit, the victim was discharged from working at Lava Lava Lounge due to their failure to properly address the discrimination, fraud and harassment and retaliation she suffered in the workplace and that her disabled son recently almost died, requiring numerous surgeries.
“The lack of funds to support her child due to the loss of her job and the stress she suffered at work have caused plaintiff to suffer extreme and severe emotional distress,” the lawsuit says.
Both the lounge and the hotel were made aware of the sexual harassment allegations that allegedly were verbal and physical in nature, including unwanted touching and comments about the victim’s breasts, the lawsuit says.
The manager is alleged to have stalked the plaintiff by following to her vehicle after work and “lurking” in the parking lot.
“Patrons of Lava Lava Lounge noticed the stalking behavior and are said to have formed a group to escort her to her car after work,” the suit says.
The manager is alleged to have repeatedly propositioned the victim, leading to a hostile and offensive working environment.
By late 2016 and January 2017, the victim reported the harassment to managers at Lava Lava Lounge and human resources representatives at Aqua Hotels and Resorts LLC, who managed the hotel at the time.
After the report, the hotel allegedly told the victim they would investigate and take care of the problem and installed video-monitor cameras in the parking lot where the victim parked her car.
The manager is alleged to have monitored the victim using the surveillance system.
The suit alleges the hotel conducted a limited investigation into the victim’s complaints, but it negligently ignored or disregarded statements of people who corroborated the victim’s allegations.
Eventually, the victim was granted a temporary restraining order against the manager, according to the suit.
As a result of the harassment, the suit claims the victim suffered from mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional disfigurement and/or scarring, loss of income, economic loss, medical expenses and other expenses.