Colorism and racial bias are alive and well, says a recent lawsuit claiming that a TGI Friday’s restaurant in New York City discriminated against rehiring its African-Americans employees.
The lawsuit, filed by a Bronx court, claims that the most of the Black waiters were replaced with mostly lighter-skinned Latinos when the chain closed its highly popular location in Midtown Manhattan and reopened a block away, the New York Daily News reported.
Only one Black employee was rehired, leaving 10 former Black staff members to file a class action lawsuit against the restaurant chain.
They also claim the following:
— A restaurant manager said that he preferred working with Latinos because they “work harder.”
—Black employees were perceived as “being lazy.”
— Management referred to the store as “ghetto” and “Black Friday’s” and wanted to change the image of their new location.
— TGI Friday’s misled Black employees “promising them a shot” at rehiring them, knowing that was not their intention.
According to the Daily News, each of the 10 former employees are seeking $500,000 for “loss of wages, emotional distress and punitive damages” from Friday’s.
“They knew exactly what they were doing,” Tony Pringle, 42, told the Daily News.
Pringle, who made $850 a week as a waiter at the old location, also stressed, “They were basically not hiring blacks.”
However, TGI Friday’s officials have clapped back, claiming that they pride themselves on their 75 years of racial diversity efforts that have played into why “80 percent of their staff is non-white.”
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(Photo: Chris Ison/PA OPhotos/Landov)
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