A Rapid City man has filed a federal lawsuit against the Hardee’s restaurant chain, alleging he was pressured into a sexual relationship with his female supervisor, who then fired him when he ended it. 

Gerald Anderson of Rapid City filed the lawsuit against the Northland Restaurant Group, operating as Hardee's, claiming that the business violated anti-discrimination laws.

Anderson said he unfairly lost his job at the restaurant in October 2012, according to a complaint filed Feb. 5.

In the lawsuit, which presents only one side of a dispute, Anderson claims he was hired at Hardee's in August 2012 by restaurant manager Danielle Dahlenburg. Anderson claims Dahlenburg subjected him to "unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and sexual touching" during his employment, according to court documents.

The suit does not say which of the two Rapid City Hardee's locations the incidents took place, or if Dahlenburg is still employed by the chain.

Anderson, who first took his claims to state and federal fair employment agencies, says the unwelcome sexual overtures were an expressed or implied condition of his employment, and as such he submitted to her requests, the suit alleges.

"When she hired him, Dahlenburg told plaintiff that if he 'applied' himself and worked with her 'on and off the clock' he could advance to a management position," the suit alleges. "Dahlenburg led plaintiff to believe that his submission to her sexual advances was a condition of his employment and that he would be fired, or otherwise retaliated against, if he did not acquiesce."

Anderson's suit claims that when he ended the relationship in October 2012, he was terminated about one week later. His attorney claims the manager's behavior was illegal under federal and state employment law.

“The primary allegation that we have here is that his employment was conditioned upon his participation in a sexual relationship with his supervisor and that constitutes unlawful employment discrimination,” said Sarah Baron Houy, Anderson's attorney.

Hardee's has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit, Houy said.

Messages left with Northland Restaurant Group seeking comment were not returned. Dahlenburg is not named as a defendant in the suit. She could not be reached for comment and an online phone listing for her was no longer in service. 

In April 2013, Anderson filed discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the South Dakota Division of Human Rights. In July 2013, the SDDHR issued a determination of probable cause. That finding was backed by the EEOC in November 2013 and he was sent a Notice of Right to Sue.

Anderson is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages for lost wages, benefits, attorney fees and other costs due to "humiliation and embarrassment," according to the suit.

Contact Scott Feldman at 394-8337 or scott.feldman@rapidcityjournal.com

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(30) comments

headhunt23
headhunt23

@ Chi Sam - why don't you include a link. The only picture I can find associated with this story is one for Anderson's Attorney.

But I'm going to guess that is the picture you found.

Posey
Posey

"inept"?-----"-Imbeciles"? Haaa

JackSprat
JackSprat

Seeking damages for embarrassment and back wages? First off, being a grown man working at Hardees is slightly embarrassing in and of itself, and back wages? What does that amount to? $2,000?

Rob61
Rob61

What is it with kids these days no matter what happens they do this, If I had a female boss that was half way decent looking and she told me to drop trou and service her I would be there. Hey it is free sex. It is like these kids in schools your doing the teacher why would you mess that up??

fictional_man
fictional_man

I think everyone wants to know what these people look like. Whatever happened to who,what,when,how,why?

chi sam
chi sam

A simple search returned her picture in mere seconds... How inept are some of you people?

daddyksinger
daddyksinger

Since you're so smart and we're all imbeciles, why don't you post the pic for us?

Freeland_Dave
Freeland_Dave

Sorry for the misspelling of Hardees, they are Carl's Juniors out where I live.

appletonrocks
appletonrocks

It is virtually impossible to determine the veracity of this claim without pictures of the accused, in both work and after hours attire.

Justin Case
Justin Case

@Vorenious
I think the guy was correct in filling a law suite against a women's only workout center. For the past 40 years women have been B!TC#IN about equal right and crying about men's only clubs. It only seems right that the women get exactly what they demand and that s equal rights including the right to share their workout facilities.

philaman01
philaman01

Obviously, she wasn't good looking!

chi sam
chi sam

If you have access to the Internet, yet comment in a public forum that you wonder what she looks like - you're inept.

It took seconds to find her photo, you imbeciles...

BossHoss479
BossHoss479

When I read a story like this I wonder, "well what did the boss look like?"

chi sam
chi sam

Odd... When I read a story like this I spend five seconds and look it up... But I'm not dumb.

Brucehateseverything
Brucehateseverything

This is EXACTLY why some companies frown on employee relationships. Boy meets girl, they date, they break up, and then the hostilities begin. No news here. He better have corroborated testimony from others or this is a simple his-word-versus-her-word.

IrishPat
IrishPat

Photo of the gal in question would be helpful in making a judgement.

Buck
Buck

How do I apply?

SarcasticallyMe
SarcasticallyMe

Spa lady is a chain of exercise/spas...there are many of them on the east coast.

westburb
westburb

...Vorenious... what does your comment about Spa Lady have to do with this article? And, why does it matter if the male was black or white? Also, Spa Lady is still in business.

eastbeachdude
eastbeachdude

'Remember, nothing says good job, like a firm, open-palm slap on the behind!'

GeorgeM
GeorgeM

Unless she's pushing a hundred, built like 55 gallon drum that survived a trip over Niagara Falls. I don't buy it.
There are vary few women that need to blackmail a guy for sex.

humpty dumpty
humpty dumpty

it isn't always about the sex. it is about the power.

Revelation
Revelation

Absolutely correct. Most people don't understand that sexual harassment is about power and control and not as much about sex (though that will come into the picture).

Carter M Michaels
Carter M Michaels

(did you really just say that)

Zac44
Zac44

He never should have been in a Hardee's in the 1st place.
Nobody should.

Vorenious
Vorenious

It is more than likely, this is just a scam. I have seen and heard of so many stories now, where men, falsely file charges like this.

Most men, when a relationship ends, wants away from the women. So why did this guy stick around?

In DC, there was a company called Spa Lady, that catered to women only for workouts, etc. A black adult male, went to a shop in Clinton Maryland and was told that these spas cater to women, he filed discrimination suits against the company and won, and the business is now extinct.

B-Rock
B-Rock

What if the sexes of the individuals was reversed? Would you still brush it off as a scam?

Revelation
Revelation

If you read the article, it indicates that two different boards found probable cause for the suit.

RedLeg1976
RedLeg1976

I'm sure this will be a fertile ground for comments.

Overlord
Overlord

"RYL" Risk Your Life

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