Final order directs $1 million to second victim in Stars Cabaret case
A Bureau of Labor and Industries Final Order issued Thursday will direct $1 million to a then 15-year-old minor who faced unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment at Stars Cabaret strip club, where she was hired as a dancer, according to the agency Communications Director Charlie Burr. A previous civil rights settlement of $1.25 million for the first victim, then a 13-year-old minor, represented the largest individual settlement in the agency's history.
The agency initiated the investigation after Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian filed a Commissioner's Complaint in 2015 alleging civil rights violations involving two underage employees working as adult entertainers. Following a thorough investigation of Stars' operations, the agency brought formal charges of unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment of minors working at the club.
The BOLI Final Order finds that former manager Jon Herkenrath and Stars' owners Randy Kaiser, Todd Mitchell and Jeff Struhar aided and abetted the unlawful discrimination that occurred at the Beaverton club.
"Today's (Thursday) order begins to address the trauma and harm faced by these underage minors," said Labor Commissioner Avakian. "Protecting the most vulnerable among us is at the core of our agency's mission. I appreciate the relentless and diligent work of our civil rights and administrative prosecution teams in securing justice that reflects the severity of abuse."
Oregon law empowers the labor commissioner to file a complaint on behalf of the people of Oregon when the commissioner has reason to believe that an unlawful practice, such as employment discrimination based on sex or national origin, has occurred. The Commissioner's Complaint filed against Stars is the seventh filed by Avakian. A 2014 settlement with Daimler Trucks North America directed $2.4 million to six employees alleging harassment and unlawful discrimination.
The Civil Rights Division conducted an extensive investigation across Stars' operations, interviewing current and former staff, owners, managers and other third parties.