Servers at a Kansas Buffalo Wild Wings have been accused of refusing or giving poor service to Black customers with the approval of management.
The Kansas City Star reports that the Overland Park location of the wing spot has been sued over the alleged behavior.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Gerald Gray, said White employees refused to serve Black customers because, they said, “Blacks don’t give good tips.”
Former employee Gary Lovelace, 55, who is Black, filed the lawsuit, accusing his former bosses of racial discrimination, ageism, fostering a “racially hostile work environment,” discrimination based on a disability and retaliation. After Lovelace worked at the restaurant for 12 years, new management was brought in 2016, changing the culture of the company.
Lovelace claims he was dismissed as an “angry Black man,” forced to work in a freezer despite it triggering his asthma, was denied raises and promotions, and was assigned to unfavorable shifts. He also complained that his employer began discriminating against Black customers. He was subsequently fired.
“Mr. Lovelace became fearful and was often stressed due to the tension he faced on the job during his shifts over the last year of his employment,” the suit reads.
A rep for the brand told The Star on Thursday that the company is conducting an internal investigation and would not comment on the pending litigation.
“Buffalo Wild Wings values an inclusive environment and we have no tolerance for discrimination of any kind,” the rep said.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.