Hostess Suffers Racial Controversy in Italian Restaurant

April 29th, 2020

An Olive Garden hostess in Indiana recently quit her job after allegedly being the target of racial discrimination and retaliation. According to the former hostess, Olive Garden management obliged when a white customer demanded a non-black server. She also claimed that after speaking up about the discrimination, she was subject to harassment by her coworkers and superiors. The former Olive Garden employee is now poised to file suit against her former employer, whom she says made her work environment intolerable.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal to discriminate based on protected characteristics, including race. Employers with 15 or more employees are subject to federal anti-discrimination laws. Those who are victims of disparate treatment may notice that only certain races get promoted to supervisory positions.

Employers are prohibited from contributing to such a discriminatory atmosphere and allowing discriminatory behavior to continue. If an employer receives a complaint regarding discrimination, they should take it seriously and investigate the matter. If it is discovered that some form of discrimination occurred, the employer must discipline wrongdoers and take steps to ensure that the inappropriate behavior does not continue.

Hostile Work Environment

Employees should be able to report instances of discrimination without fear of retaliation. However, some employers may retaliate against those who speak up by demoting them, firing them, or generally making it unbearable to be at work. When an employee is subject to discriminatory behavior that is pervasive enough to interfere with their work, they may be able to file a claim. Employers who did not directly cause the hostile work environment may still be liable if they knew about the behavior and did not sufficiently intervene to stop it.

In the case of the Olive Garden hostess, she claimed that after the manager accused of racial discrimination was fired, things only got worse at work; she was allegedly harassed by her coworkers and blamed for the manager’s firing. She says that after telling her superiors about the harassment and retaliation, they did nothing to stop the behavior. According to an Olive Garden spokesman, senior leadership is currently investigating the situation.

Employees who feel they have been discriminated against may file a claim under the Equal Employee Opportunity Commission. Claimants may be eligible for compensatory damages, including the amount of wages, benefits, bonuses, and other perks they lost as a result of the discrimination.

Philadelphia Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Represent Victims of Racial Discrimination

If you were subject to racial discrimination in the workplace or a hostile work environment, contact a Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. From our offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania, including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 for a free consultation today.

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