Panera Franchisee Can't Saddle EEOC With $1.1M Atty Fee

By Alexis Shanes (May 19, 2021, 1:31 PM EDT) -- A Florida federal judge rejected a Panera and Applebee's franchisee's push to make the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pick up the tab for $1.1 million in attorneys' fees the company incurred defending a suit over worker arbitration pacts.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra on Tuesday turned down a bid for attorneys' fees and nontaxable costs from Doherty Enterprises Inc., saying the EEOC's suit wasn't frivolous and the agency hadn't acted in bad faith during discovery.

The arbitration agreement at issue — which the EEOC said blocked workers from filing discrimination charges with the agency — was ultimately updated, and the...

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