isabellaeateryssettlement.png Greg Powers

Mike Isabella Concepts settles sexual harassment claim

Company agrees to corrective measures

Mike Isabella Concepts, or MIC, said Monday it had reached a settlement with a former manager who earlier this year filed a lawsuit alleging “extraordinary sex-based hostility and abuse.”

In a joint statement, the Washington, D.C.-based restaurant group and former manager Chloe Caras said they have reached an agreement to resolve Caras’ claims. The terms of the settlement were confidential.

Debra Katz, the attorney representing Caras, said in the statement that one of her client’s central goals was met: “to have MIC enter in a binding agreement obligating it to take corrective measures, including robust training, and to adopt policies to encourage a work environment free of sexual harassment.”

Chef and restaurateur Mike Isabella said in the statement that the agreement “allows Chloe to focus on her bright future, and allows us to focus on a future in which all of our valued employees will continue to flourish in our management ranks as we remain positive, productive leaders in the D.C. restaurant community.

“I am happy to personally guarantee that we will strengthen our internal policies and practices and ensure all MIC employees work in a comfortable environment,” he added.

Both parties declined further comment.

Caras originally filed her lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court in March, but that case was later dismissed and refiled in federal court.

Unlike other prominent restaurateurs facing similar charges, Isabella and his partners, who were also accused of harassment in the lawsuit, vehemently denied the allegations, saying they were false and noting that Caras had not reported being harassed in her three years with the company until there was a dispute about her unemployment claim following her departure.

MIC is the operator of the Arroz, Graffiato, Kapnos, Pepita, Requin, Yona and G by Mike Isabella brands, as well as Isabella Eatery, a 41,000-square-foot multiconcept food hall in Tysons Galleria in McLean, Va.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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