Recently the Central Park Boathouse, a landmark in Manhattan since the 1950's, has been the subject of several sexual harassment and other related discrimination claims against them.
Approximately six former and current employees have made claims that supervisors at the restaurant routinely subjected them to sexual harassment by way of inappropriate comments, touching and conversation in the workplace. These employees field a complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a result of this alleged conduct in the workplace.
As of now Boathouse management has not said much. Restaurant spokesman Joseph O'Donnell stated that, "all employees are aware of the Boathouse's zero tolerance policy concerning sexual harassment."
The complaints by employees of the Boathouse have sparked reaction from New York City Public Advocate Bill De Blasio, who is now urging the Parks Commissioner, Adrian Benepe to revoke the contract to operate the restaurant and boating concession at Central Park. De Blasio commented, "it doesn't fit the values of this city and it violates the law."
Parks Department spokeswoman Vicki Karp has responded by stating that the agency takes sexual harassment allegations very seriously and cares deeply about labor standards, promising that action will be taken in any and all situations that warrant scrutiny.
Regardless of the outcome of these claims, it will be interesting to see how these negative reports will affect business for the Boathouse in the coming weeks. It will also be very significant if actions are ultimately taken by New York City officials to cease operations of the restaurant due to discrimination claims.