An upscale resort in Malibu is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee who also alleges a VIP guest sexually assaulted her.
Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club, operated by the Guestology Group, employed Amanda Lynch as a server for more than two years, ending with her wrongful termination in August 2023, she said in her complaint filed on Thursday.
Lynch’s lawsuit was filed one day after another high-end Malibu hospitality business, Nobu, was sued in connection with similar allegations of sexual harassment and assault involving other workers, managers and customers.
During that time, she raised complaints about unsafe working conditions, health code violations, preferential treatment given to employees who were romantically involved with managers, employees – including those underage – drinking on the job, sexual harassment and a failure to receive tips and a raise that were promised, according to her filing.
While the company is named as a defendant, so too are several supervisors and managers: Kyle Zeuner, Berto Garcia, Jeri Bartholomew and Val Caceres, who are collectively referred to as “the Supervisors” in the lawsuit.
“The Supervisors would make sexual and degrading comments to the pool girls, who said they should be looking like cheerleaders,” the complaint said. “Male bartenders would discuss who was ‘f*ckable.’ Plaintiff complained to Michael Thurman, manager on duty, and made several complaints that the girls felt uncomfortable. Thurman said he would talk to Val and the people involved. But the conduct continued.”
Furthermore, Lynch alleges that a VIP guest, Joseph Barrios, touched her genitalia in a sexual assault. When she complained, her hours were cut, and Barrios continued to be welcomed back as a VIP patron, she said.
“Every time Plaintiff would see a list of guests and saw his name, she would have to prepare herself for a full day of harassment, which would affect her emotionally,” the lawsuit said.
Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club did not immediately return a request for an official comment.