Pizzeria Regina management slapped with sexual harassment suit

June 14, 2004

BOSTON—Four longtime waitresses at Pizzeria Regina filed a sexual harassment suit against three officials at the legendary North End restaurant.

According to the Boston Herald, the women accused the pizzeria's manager, Dominic Strazzulo, of regularly slapping their backsides, sharing details of porn movies he'd viewed and using hidden video cameras to peer down female customers' blouses.

The four women, who have a combined 55 years experience as waitresses, filed the complaint on June 14 at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Strazzulo and two other company officials, Richard Zappata and Fran V. Ross, were named in the complaint. The report didn't mention any offenses committed by Zappata and Ross.

"I love my job. I've been there for 17 years," said waitress Lynne Power. "I love my co-workers, my customers and the pizza makers. I'm not doing this to hurt anybody. I'm doing this to stop Dominic Strazzulo."

Fifteen-year veteran Cindy Stewart said she and the other waitresses tolerated Strazzulo's actions because they liked their jobs. But when it was discovered a video surveillance system was installed in the restaurant's ceiling so Strazzulo could ogle female customers, the waitresses said they'd had enough.

"That's what really did it," Stewart said. "That was the last straw."

The waitresses later set up their own video surveillance to catch Strazzulo in the act.

Boston Restaurant Associates, which owns Pizzeria Regina, issued a statement saying it takes the allegations seriously and doesn't tolerate harassment of any kind.

According to the statement, Strazzulo has been reassigned pending the outcome of our investigation, but Herb Holtz, the attorney representing the women, said the manager's new assignment involves training managers at other stores.

Strazzulo, who has worked for the company for some 34 years, could not be reached for comment.

John Polcari, BRA's largest stockholder, said he'd cover the women's attorney fees if they would cease legal action.

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