A Wisconsin–based restaurant now faces racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit after allegedly firing an African–American employee for complaining about a racist image that its management posted in the workplace.
The former employee, Dion Miller, from Sparx Restaurant recently filed a complaint before the office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding the hostile work environment he experienced from the said company.
In his lawsuit, Miller claimed that he was terminated from his job after he complained about a racist image that showed a picture of African–American actor, Gary Coleman, and a dollar bill wherein George Washington was blackened and vandalized in a way that a noose was around his neck. Moreover, Swastikas and an image of a man in a Ku Klux Klan were on the said dollar bill.
Miller was told by the restaurant’s manager that they had posted the images a night before Miller complained. The restaurant management eventually insisted that it was just a joke after Miller reacted to the image. Weeks later after the retaliation, Miller was fired from his job.
The EEOC found a reasonable cause to file for an employment discrimination lawsuit based on race and retaliation following the provisions stated under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The said lawsuit that is seeking for injunctive relief and well as back pay, damages, and reinstatement was filed before the office of the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. Said prayers are asked to prevent such future discrimination.
Sparx, on the other hand, denied the claims and affirmed that Miller was fired because of bad attitude. The restaurant never even admitted that they created a hostile work environment for Miller.
Ironically, despite the said misconduct that the Sparx committed, it still claims that it is a “family restaurant”.
In California, the Supreme Court decides on the workers’ side–all guilty employers who practice serious and intentional misconducts should burden the additional benefits for the aggrieved employee from his/her own resource. The EEOC, in its press release, expressed its great appreciation to Miller for standing up against his employers’ misconduct.