A former Oakland-area Shake Shack employee is getting compensated after the fast food chain agreed to pay out a $20K settlement for misgendering that allegedly went unresolved at work.
"The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) has reached a pre-litigation settlement with nationwide chain restaurant Shake Shack, resolving a former employee’s complaint of discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on gender identity and gender expression," a Monday press release from the CRD read.
The release stated that the complainant, whose name was never disclosed, was trained in a San Francisco-area location before being assigned to work at the Oakland location where the complaints emerged.
The former employee said discrimination management failed to intervene despite his complaints, and the California Civil Rights Department was forced to intervene.
CRD's director Kevin Kish weighed in on the debacle according to the statement, saying, "California law prohibits intentional misgendering in the workplace."
"Intentional misgendering and other forms of discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression can be stressful and traumatic. CRD appreciates Shake Shack’s acknowledgement of its responsibility to provide a discrimination-free environment to its workforce," he added.
The document also alleged that management "failed to take reasonable steps to correct the behavior" of co-workers who repeatedly misgendered the Oakland employee and instead asked him to "explain" his gender to others.
The dustup led the worker to flee the company after only a month of employment.
Shake Shack and the unnamed employee settled the dispute, agreeing to a $20,000 settlement. Shake Shack also agreed to revamp its policies related to discrimination in the workplace, with particular focus on providing additional gender identity-focused training to workers.
The fast food chain also said it would report all complaints related to gender identity and expression-related complaints from workers in the Bay Area location to the California Civil Rights Department for a one-year period.
Fox News Digital reached out to Shake Shack for comment and received the following statement: "Creating a welcoming and fulfilling environment for all our employees and guests is critical. We are constantly taking steps to ensure our policies and culture reflect our commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace."
A spokesperson for the chain also said "testimony showed, and the mediator from the California Civil Rights Department agreed, that Shake Shack provides an inclusive, diverse, and positive work environment" and added that any misgendering was "accidental, isolated and an honest mistake."
The spokesperson added that the misgendering was "immediately corrected" and apologies "were issued at once," saying "HR commenced and completed an immediate investigation" once the employee contacted the department.