Three former waitresses at a popular pancake house in Roseland recently had their day in court.
The three accused the owner of the American Pancake House, Nick Kladis with sexual harassment.
“Every day being demanded to do things and being touched when you tell him to stop repeatedly, being poked every day, being touched, being grabbed, being told to unbutton your shirt, having his press up against you is the worst feeling in the world and I hope no one else has to go through with it,” said former waitress Angela Heyne. “It’s hard, I know the money, the tips there are good, but no job is worth it.”
The jury found that Kladis did sexually harass Heyne. She worked at the American Pancake House for about ten months, until August of 2010.
"From our perspective, the verdict was one that was very mixed in the sense that the plaintiffs were requesting $675,000 they received amongst the three of them, less than $25,000,” said Kladis’ attorney, Vince Campiti. “The sexual harassment claim that the jury could only have found to be actionable was verbal.”
Jurors also found that Kladis battered and retaliated against former waitress Angela King by firing her after she told him that sexual harassment was illegal.
“He left bruises on my arms at two separate occasions," King said. "It was just a terrible environment."
But, the jury did side with Kladis when it came to accusations made by a third employee.
“My client has been in business for a while in this area, he and his family employ a large number of people in the community,” Campiti said. “The majority of them have not brought these kinds of cases and in fact, many were witnesses in the trial that said they had never seen the types of activities that these three ladies were supposedly claiming happened.”
The court will hold a hearing on compensatory damages in the case on June 20th.