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Hardee's Fifth Largest Franchisee Sued for Sexual Harassment

Hardee's photo by bmm
A Hardee's in Kentucky. Photo/bmm

A former employee of Hardee’s fifth largest franchisee in Rapid City, South Dakota has filed a sexual discrimination lawsuit against its store manager, for subjecting him to unwanted sexual advances.

The lawsuit was filed against Northland Restaurant Group, and seeks an award of compensatory and special damages, the amount to be determined by a jury trial.

The Rapid City Journal reported that Gerald Anderson alleges his female supervisor, Danielle Dahlenburg, pressured him into a sexual relationship as a condition of his employment in August 2012. The complaint states,

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. Dahlenburg led plaintiff [employee] 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.

Northland Restaurant Group, based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, operates over 70 Hardee’s stores, located in the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. The franchisee has recently closed on several acquisitions with Auspex Capital serving as the M&A advisory. Northland is owned and operated by long-time Hardee’s franchisee Jon Munger, who also owns Doro, Inc., now at 33 units, and UP North, LLC with six units.

The Journal stated that Anderson was fired by the supervisor in October 2012, two weeks after he refused her continued advances. It is unknown whether Dahlenburg is still employed by the chain. She is not named in the lawsuit.EEOC Sexual Harassment

The article also explains,

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.

Article: Rapid City Man Says Female Hardee’s Boss Made Sex a Condition of Employment

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About Janet Sparks

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Janet Sparks is the former publisher of the Continental Franchise Review, an industry newsletter that covered the franchise community for over 30 years. She has also been a columnist for a leading franchise magazine for the past 13 years. Today she is an independent journalist who engages in investigative reporting, tackling complex issues that impact the franchise industry.

Janet can be reached at or at 303-799-7398.