Bojangles Restaurant Accused of Racism By Former Employee

The fast-food chain allegedly practiced “widespread racial discrimination” at several of its locations in North Carolina.

A North Carolina-based fast-food restaurant chain has been accused of racism by one of its employees.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Bojangles has allegedly subjected their Black employees to “humiliation,” and “anguish,” also fostering a culture of racial discrimination in numerous locations throughout the city of Charlotte.

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court by Roslyn McManus, 54, after being hired in December 2019, she began to see evidence of racial discrimination early during her two-year stay at the restaurant. On two separate occasions, she reported her complaints to the Bojangles’ Human Resources Department but said they were ignored.

During her training, McManus alleged that another employee wrote “Support Trump 2020” in flour spread over a biscuit table at the Beavers Farm location, per the complaint.

McManus believed that was an act of racism “due to President Trump’s polarization and at times perceived racial insensitivity, particularly regarding issues involving racial protests,” according to the complaint. “Moreover, some individuals who supported President Trump in 2020 were also associated with extremist or white supremacist groups,” the suit stated.

“Moreover, some individuals who supported President Trump in 2020 were also associated with extremist or white supremacist groups,” the complaint read.

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Following the incident, the employees were “told that it was a joke, and no one should be concerned with it.”

That complaint goes to say that Robert Yonyetye, a senior director of field training, came to the restaurant and allegedly “would only address white employees.” 

McManus graduated from a training program in February 2020 and moved to another Bojangles location where “she became stuck in a five-month limbo,” the complaint said. 

Although she was promised a promotion from assistant general manager to general manager when a position opened up but was passed over several times in favor of White employees when vacancies became available, the complaint alleged.

In other instances, Black employees were the targets of racial slurs by White workers. Kattie Murry, the area director allegedly “committed racially derogatory acts and made several racially derogatory comments towards African American employees.”

Murray is also accused of telling McManus that other employees were “a better fit” for management positions, making “monkey noises and gestures “to Black employees, and described Black managers as “dumb.” McManus eventually discovered that she was being compensated less than newly hired assistant general managers who were White.

In May 2021, after five months of ”working an average of 80 hours a week with no overtime pay beyond 50 hours,” McManus sent a resignation letter to new area director Zachary Caines, who said he would help her if she did not resign.

She reported the treatment she received by White workers over a two-year period to Bojangles’ Human Resources Department and Caines and another manager laughed at her filing when her email was shared, according to the complaint.

On the same day, McManus received an email notification that her upcoming shifts were deleted for the rest of the month. According to the complaint, Caines was responsible for her termination.

McManus is requesting a jury trial claiming that  Bojangles’ is in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Stacey McCray, Bojangles’ Vice President of Communications addressed the matter in a brief statement in an email.

“As a matter of policy, Bojangles does not comment on pending litigation,” McCray wrote.

This is the latest incident where Bojangles has been levied with allegations of discriminatory practices. In December 2023, Bojangles settled a lawsuit brought by the EEOC, which accused the restaurant chain of engaging in sexual harassment and retaliation against the employee who first reported the incidents from March 2020 to June 2020. 

According to the settlement, the company agreed to pay $20,000 to the employee and to implement employee training on consent, sexual harassment, and retaliation at some of its locations.

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