MERRILL, Wis. (AP) -- -

A federal judge has ordered the owner of a Merrill restaurant to pay $41,000 to a former waitress who said she was sexually harassed and then fired.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Qemal Alimi, claiming he violated federal law by allowing female employees at the New Pine Ridge restaurant to be sexually harassed and did nothing to stop it.

EEOC attorney John Hendrickson tells the Wausau Daily Herald the agency's investigation found one of the restaurant's cooks repeatedly made crude remarks to waitresses and grabbed them. The EEOC alleged Alimi took no action and that the women were fired in retaliation.

The waitress who received the settlement money was the only one who filed a claim. Alimi did not immediately return a call seeking comment.