Anti-Gay, Race Discrimination Lawsuit Hits Hollywood Restaurant
March 31, 2013
In recent Los Angeles, California employment news, Vincent Howard has been watching the unfolding of a high-profile gender and race discrimination lawsuit--filed by a former chef of well-known celebrity hangout Cleo Restaurant, in Hollywood, California.
According to the lawsuit, female chef Keyon Wilson started working as a line cook in 2012, as the only African-American employee in the kitchen. Wilson, who is also gay, claims that soon after joining the Hollywood eatery, the supervising chefs and other colleagues began hurling offensive racial and anti-gay slurs at her.
Wilson claims in her sexual harassment and anti-gay lawsuit that employees who were not African-American and not gay were not treated in the same manner, and after filing a complaint about the severe racial and gender discrimination, she did not receive any support. Instead, according to the lawsuit, Wilson was retaliated against, and was forced to take unpaid days off, with delayed paychecks. Wilson claims she was forced to quit after one month on the job.
As defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment can include advances of a sexual nature, requests that are unwelcome, and any other physical or verbal sexual harassment. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, harassment or discrimination based on sex or gender is against the law. It is also illegal for employers to retaliate against any employees who stand up to sexual harassment or discrimination.
Cleo Restaurant is part of SBE, an hospitality and entertainment company that owns other well-known restaurants in Los Angeles, including Katsua by Stark, The Bazaar, and Mercato di Vetro. Wilson's sexual harassment and gender lawsuit is one of a long list of recent lawsuits against high-profile and celebrity restaurants. In a previous Santa Ana employment lawyers blog, Vincent Howard discussed the recent $5.25 million settlement reached by celebrity chef Mario Batali after former restaurant workers alleged that Batali-owned restaurants such as Babbo and Del Posto engaged in violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Other high-profile wage and hour restaurant lawsuits have also been filed recently against celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto, the Iron Chef personality, celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, and the celebrity investors of Shin BBQ Restaurant in Hollywood, including film and television actors, Gerard Butler, Laura Prepon and Chris and Danny Masterson.
Contact Orange County-based labor and employment attorney Vincent Howard today, for a free consultation about your sexual harassment and discrimination rights.
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