Two Women Sue NASCAR Team Owner Bob Jenkins’ Taco Bell Restaurant for Sexual Harassment

Lawyers at Bailess Law Firm claim Charter Foods did not conduct background checks and hired known sex offender to oversee minor workers in West Virginia location

PARKERSBURG, W.Va., March 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Two young women have filed separate lawsuits against Charter Foods, Inc., a company owned by NASCAR team owner Bob Jenkins. Both women claim they were sexually harassed on multiple occasions by a convicted sex offender when they worked at a Taco Bell in Parkersburg. The suits state Charter Foods knew Bo Gehling’s status as a sex offender who just finished serving a jail sentence for violating his probation when they rehired him as a shift supervisor to oversee minor workers. Madison Jones and Kelsey Wilson were 17-year-old high school students working at the fast-food restaurant at separate times between 2020 and 2022. Both women felt Charter Foods’ leadership failed to protect them from Gehling’s inappropriate actions, according to the complaints.

At times, Charter Foods allowed Gehling to work night shifts alongside the minors without an assistant manager or general manager on duty to supervise him, according to Jones’ complaint.

In her complaint, Wilson describes Gehling touching her in an offensive way, purposely brushing himself up against her body, and invading her personal space. She states that he also made sexually charged comments toward her. She claims Gehling’s inappropriate actions intensified after she first reported the sexual harassment to the restaurant’s general manager and that management failed to take action. Instead, Gehling was allowed to continue his position as her direct supervisor. This led Wilson to feel that resigning from her job at the Taco Bell restaurant was the only viable option, per the suit. 

“I was constantly humiliated by my superior and felt uncomfortable working with him at the Taco Bell restaurant,” says Wilson. “After making numerous reports and not seeing any changes, I realized Charter Foods did not care about what was happening at the restaurant or to me. They simply turned a blind eye to the dangerous situation I was put in.”

Jones makes similar claims, stating Gehling made inappropriate comments about her body and would invade her personal space. She and two other female co-workers reported Gehling’s repeated sexually inappropriate behavior to the Charter Foods area coach and the restaurant’s assistant general manager. Even though Charter Foods boasted a zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy, the company continued to permit him to work with the minors, according to the complaint.

Both lawsuits claim the company endangered its minor workers by not conducting criminal background checks, drug and alcohol tests, or a sex offender registry search as part of its hiring process.

“The core of these lawsuits comes down to not having an effective safety system to protect employees, especially minors, from sexual harassment,” says attorney Todd Bailess of Bailess Law Firm, who represents Jones and Wilson. “Rehiring a known sex offender the day after he was released from prison and allowing him to supervise minors is reckless, jeopardizing the safety of Taco Bell’s employees and customers.”

The cases filed in Wood County Court are:

  • Kelsey G. Wilson v. Charter Foods, Inc., Charter Central, LLC, Amber Hall, and Bo R. Gehling, Case No. CC-54-2022-C-236
  • Madison M. Jones v. Charter Foods, Inc., Charter Central, LLC, Steven France, Amber Hall, and Bo R. Gehling, Case No. CC-54-2024-C-68

Copies of the complaints can be accessed here.

About Bailess Law Firm
The attorneys at Bailess Law Firm have zero tolerance for sexual harassment in the workplace. The West Virginia-based law firm takes pride in helping restore dignity and bringing hope to workers who have been subjected to unlawful employment practices.

Media Contact
Holly Scimeca Griggs
[email protected]
214-550-0958

SOURCE Bailess Law Firm

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/two-women-sue-nascar-team-owner-bob-jenkins-taco-bell-restaurant-for-sexual-harassment-302081511.html
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