Hooters To Pay Black Workers $650,000 In Lawsuit Settlement

The employees claimed they were subject to ‘racist comments and discriminatory hiring practices’ by the management team of the restaurant.

Hooters of Louisiana will pay $650,000 in back pay and damage to a group of Black employees at a restaurant in Metairie following a lawsuit that claimed they were the targets of “racist comments and discriminatory hiring practices,” local station WWL reports.

In the announcement, the U.S. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission stated the workers experienced unfair treatment by the management team at the restaurant.

"Hooters subjected African American employees at a Metairie-located Hooters restaurant to a workplace environment of offensive and demeaning remarks based on their race since at least 2017," the EEOC said in a statement on Tuesday (September 5).

The EEOC also stated that the restaurant violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination.

"Hooters will pay the former employees $650,000 in back pay and damages," the EEOC’s statement continued. "And also conduct training, revise policies, provide regular reports to the EEOC, and post a notice affirming its obligations under Title VII."

According to the complaint, the employees said that they were laid off during the pandemic and claimed that only non-White workers were rehired at the location.

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Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Houston District Office, shared

“This is a strong resolution which serves the public interest. The decree provides relief for the former employees and will help assure no employee will be discriminated against or subject to harassment based on race. We are pleased the EEOC and Hooters were able to quickly reach a resolution that is in the interests of justice," Sustaita said.

Peter Theis, a trial attorney in the EEOC’s New Orleans Field Office, added, “The law does not tolerate harassment or refusing to hire based on race, and it does not tolerate retaliating against employees for complaining about discrimination.”

Hooters will also be mandated “to conduct training, revise its policies, and provide regular reports to the EEOC” as a result of the settlement.

Management at the Hooters restaurant did comment on the decision.

It is not known if Hooters will appeal the ruling.

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