Hula dancer claims harassment

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.

  1. Bluedream October 16, 2018 7:39 am Reply

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. Lava Lava is a known for being very unpleasant to work at. Most employees are treated miserably and the work atmosphere seems contentious as far as management vs staff.

    As anyone who has been a customer, Lava Lava is horribly overpriced and the quality of the food is far below average. I don’t blame the cooks. I blame the owners who obviously cut corners to sate their greed.

    Greedy owners, and bad management, make for a terrible enviorment for the talented kitchen and floor staff.

    I understand the Honolulu owners are not unlike the ABC store theives are ripp off the customers and their staff alike.

  2. LMat October 16, 2018 8:22 am Reply

    This kind of thing happens every day to countless women. I’m glad this woman is moving forward and trying to hold her former employers accountable. I hope she gets some recompense for her suffering and not have to suffer more from the rampant victim blaming/shaming that comes with this kind of suit.

  3. DontBelieveEverythingSheSays October 16, 2018 9:23 am Reply

    The so called victim in this case is not a victim. She’s paraded herself around town before and is someone that many believe is trying to capitalize on this poor me story. There is no evidence to support her claim whatsoever. Waste of our taxpayer dollars for sure.

    1. manawai October 16, 2018 4:04 pm Reply

      But don’t you know that not a single woman has ever lied, scammed or used their feminine wiles to take advantage of a situation. But that’s not to say this business is not horribly managed. But women use men as much as men use women.

      1. ruthann jones October 17, 2018 1:29 pm Reply

        think again…Mana…men hold an unfair advantage over women generally.

  4. KauaiMedici October 16, 2018 11:48 pm Reply

    The lawsuit also claims that Judge Soong granted a three year restraining order after days of witness testimony. That seems inconsistent with the man’s claim of the victim “parading around.” Interesting how one who knows nothing about it quickly goes to blame the victim, where the judge who listened to witnesses reached the opposite conclusion. #metoo

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