1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. EEOC Sues Starlite Station for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation
Press Release 09-30-2022

EEOC Sues Starlite Station for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Owner of Bar and Dance Hall Sexually Harassed Workers and Retaliated Against Employees Who Spoke Out, Federal Agency Charges

GREELEY, Colo. – ’Murica LLC, operator of the Western-themed Starlite Station bar and dance hall in Greeley violated federal law when it subjected employees to a sexually hostile work environment, then retaliated against employees who opposed the employer’s actions, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC suit, ’Murica LLC, created a sexually hostile work environment for both female and male employees.  The EEOC said the owner often touched female employees without their permission, and pursued sexual relationships with multiple female employees, including sending inappropriate sexual text messages, calling and messaging them late at night and pressuring female employees to let him sleep at their homes. According to the EEOC’s complaint, in January 2019, the bar owner had sex in the office at Starlite Station with a female employee when she was too intoxicated to consent.  The EEOC also said that the bar owner made frequent unwelcome and sex-based comments about female employees’ weight and appearance, and suggested female employees who gained weight or whose appearance he disliked could risk losing their jobs.

The EEOC complaint also alleges that the bar owner made comments about the appearance of women who applied to work at Starlite, indicating that some women should not be hired because they were “too ugly,” or “not f***able”, including making comments about their breasts or bottoms. At least one male employee faced unwelcome questions and comments from the bar owner.

Starlite also retaliated against employees who complained about or spoke out against the bar owner’s inappropriate sexual comments and conduct, including by firing or threatening to discipline employees who complained to managers about the owner’s conduct.  Starlite then sued a number of former employees who had filed complaints with the EEOC and/or made public statements, including on social media, objecting to the owner’s treatment of female employees and his sexual contact with an intoxicated female employee. 

This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and retaliation against employees for complaining of such conduct. The EEOC filed its suit, EEOC v. ‘Murica, LLC d/b/a Starlite Station, Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-02549, in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado after first attempting to reach a settlement through its pre-litigation conciliation process. The lawsuit seeks back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the affected workers as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent discriminatory practices in the future.

“Federal law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, protects employees from having the conditions of their employment made worse based on sex, and also protects employees who oppose illegal harassment from retaliation,” said Mary Jo O’Neill, the EEOC’s regional attorney for the agency’s Phoenix District.

“Employees should know they are free to raise concerns or objections about sexual harassment or sexual misconduct in the workplace, without fearing they will be fired or disciplined, or face other negative consequences from the employer,” said Amy Burkholder, director of the EEOC’s Denver Field Office.

The EEOC’s Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and part of New Mexico.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information about sexual harassment is available at . More information about retaliation is available at  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.