Restaurant staff yelled N-word and F-word and bullied disabled worker: federal lawsuit

Employees of a Minnesota Culver’s restaurant were harassed, bullied and discriminated against because they were gay or had a disability, according to two lawsuits filed against the restaurant's parent company by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The Kansas City Star reported.

According to authorities, one employee had suffered verbal abuse and harassment over his disability since 2018. Employees and managers “frequently shouted at the Aggrieved Individual, belittled him in front of co-workers, used and tolerated the use of slurs ... and subjected him to discipline because of his disability,” according to one of the suits.

The employee, despite working at the establishment longer than most of the other employees, had an hourly pay rate that was only higher than three of about 45 other staff members as of November 2021, and received smaller and less frequent raises because of his disability, the report said.

A press release regarding the case stated that managers and employees "singled out a gay and African American employee for racial and homophobic insults that included the n-word and f-word, discussed his sex life, and referred to him as the restaurant’s ‘adopted African child.'"

When a worker reported the abuse to management, nothing was done, the report said.

“These forms of discriminatory harassment in the workplace are never acceptable,” Greg Gochanour, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Chicago District Office, said in the release.

“All employees — regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation or disability — should enjoy an equal right to safety, dignity, and respect in their place of work, and the EEOC will vigorously enforce that right, through litigation if necessary.”

Read the full report over at The Kansas City Star.