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World-renowned chef Georges Perrier of Philadelphia was hit with two sexual discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits filed Tuesday in federal court. The graphic complaints detail behavior that Perrier and several of his employees allegedly engaged in at the elegant and refined Brasserie Perrier on Walnut Street in Philadelphia’s Center City district. Stephen G. Console and Gianna M. Karapelou of the Console Law Offices filed the complaints for their clients — former hostess Sharon Patrick and former manager Suzanne Moses. “Defendants failed to prevent or address the improper, harassing and discriminatory conduct referred to herein and further failed to take corrective and remedial measures to make the workplace free of discriminatory and harassing conduct despite plaintiff’s complaint and, based on information and belief, other complaints having been made by female employees of Brasserie Perrier,” the Patrick complaint states. In a statement issued late Tuesday afternoon, Perrier said: “Neither Ms. Moses or Ms. Patrick ever complained before they voluntarily quit. We have vigorously defended our position before the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the EEOC, and will continue to do so in federal court.” The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission has made a finding of probable cause in both suits. Besides Perrier, the suits name as defendants Philadelphia Bistro Inc., doing business as Brasserie Perrier, and employees Christopher Scarduzio and Joseph Amrani. Moses’ suit did not name Amrani as a defendant. The suits both seek compensatory and punitive damages for counts of sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and assault and battery. Patrick’s suit says she had been “constructively discharged, and Moses’ suit says Moses had been fired. Perrier is the owner and highest-ranking manager of the restaurant. The complaint said Scarduzio held the title of executive sous chef and head chef. Amrani held the positions of restaurant manager and general manager. Patrick began working for Brasserie Perrier in January 1997 as a hostess. She reported to Roseanne Martin, director of operations at the time. In March 1999, Patrick began reporting to Andre Guillet, director of operations. Patrick’s allegations include improper touching by Perrier, Amrani and Scarduzio. “On or about July 14, 1999,” the complaint states, “Perrier came up behind plaintiff, pressed his body against her, poked his finger between her buttocks cheeks” and propositioned her using lewd language. “Amrani stuck his hand down plaintiff’s shirt … as she leaned down to pick up something off the floor in the spring of 2000,” the complaint alleges. And Scarduzio, the complaint says, rubbed up against the plaintiff while he was sexually aroused. Both complaints assert that Perrier hired a woman stripper to perform sexual activities with Guillet at the restaurant’s holiday party in January 2000. Patrick’s complaint also alleges that Amrani offered to increase her salary if she would perform oral sex on him. After that offer, the complaint says, Patrick made a complaint to Guillet, who responded “inadequately” by “simply nodding and not providing her any response.” Patrick was “constructively discharged” in June 2000, according to the complaint. She seeks compensation for lost earnings and loss of earning capacity, “loss of benefits, pain and suffering, embarrassment, humiliation, mental anguish, and loss of life’s pleasures, the full extent of which is not known at this time.” The suit sets forth five counts: violation of Title VII, violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and three counts of assault and battery for the alleged improper touching. Moses, who began working for the restaurant as a manager in November 1996, also alleges improper touching by Perrier and Scarduzio in her complaint. “Perrier walked up behind plaintiff and grabbed both of her breasts on or about July 14, 1999,” the complaint says. “Scarduzio grabbed plaintiff’s crotch as plaintiff was kneeling under the bar on or about December 1999.” Moses also claims she was discriminated against when Amrani was promoted over her to the position of general manager. “Defendant failed to consider plaintiff for the position of general manager despite her superior qualifications to Amrani and her greater work experience with Brasserie Perrier,” the complaint says. The complaint says Moses was fired Jan. 29 “without cause.” Moses’ complaint details the same injuries as Patrick’s complaint and contains four counts: a violation of Title VII, violation of the PHRA, and two counts of assault and battery. She also seeks compensatory and punitive damages. In denying the allegations, Perrier, in his statement, wrote: “It is very important for us to create and support a work environment that is respectful to all employees. Specifically, the restaurants have employee manuals with strict policies against sexual harassment and clear processes for staff to follow if anyone believes that any inappropriate incident has occurred.”

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