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Former bartender sues New York restaurant for race discrimination

According to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a former employee of Red Rooster, the fine-dining location in Harlem discriminated against black men. The plaintiff began employment as a porter in 2014 and earned a promotion to bartender in 2016. He said that he usually represented the only member of his race among the ranks of bartenders at the restaurant where he believes that management wanted to avoid placing black people in that position.

The man further alleges that his lawful request to take a leave to care for his ailing mother prompted his dismissal. He had gained approval to take two months off for family leave, but then the company fired him two days after granting the leave. A statement from the company attributed his dismissal to repeated warnings about the way he poured drinks.

In addition to his discrimination claim, he accuses the restaurant of deducting 30 minutes from his pay every day for meal breaks that he often could not take. An attorney known for taking on restaurants that steal wages from employees is representing the former bartender. He is actively pursuing a class-action status for the case.

When a person experiences race discrimination at work, an attorney may offer advice about how to address the problem. To collect evidence for a case, an attorney might look at company policies, job offer documentation and payroll information. With an attorney's assistance, a person may be able to report the problem to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Legal representation might offer some protection from retaliation during the investigation. If a settlement offer emerges, then an attorney may help the person choose between accepting it or pursuing further legal action.

Source: Eater NY, "Marcus Samuelsson Sued for Race Discrimination and Wage Theft [UPDATE]", Stefanie Tuder, March 23, 2018

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