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Panera Bread Settles Race, Color Discrimination Lawsuit for $76K

December 21, 2012

In a recent Carson, California employment lawyers blog, Vincent Howard reported on the problem of workplace discrimination, the unlawful practice of discriminating against a worker or job applicant based on race, color, religion, national origin, or gender, in hiring, job termination, job compensation, promotion, training, or any other conditions, terms or privileges of employment--all violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Earlier this month, a class-action race discrimination lawsuit settlement was approved by a judge after an estimated group of 200-300 African American employees who worked for a Panera Bread franchisee claimed that they were denied promotions based on their race.

According to the original lawsuit, filed by Guy Vines, the Panera Bread franchisee reportedly kept the black workers in back of the store doing food preparation or washing dishes, rather than allowing them the opportunity for promotions, to move to cashier jobs. Vines claimed that the franchisee owner Sam Covelli did not want black employees in areas where the public was served, so he kept them in the kitchen.

In the lawsuit Vines stated that he was hired in November of 2009 and left his employment in August of 2011 due to discrimination. Vines claimed that top managers at the restaurant stated that if people were black, ugly, or fat, they should not be permitted to work at the cash registers in the front of the store.

The settlement reportedly covers all current or former African-American employees who worked for Covelli for at least one year, between January of 2008 and January of 2012. The Panera Bread franchisee will reportedly pay over $76,000 to settle the race discrimination claims.

As Howard Law attorney Vincent Howard has also discussed, under Title VII, it is also unlawful to engage in retaliation against any employee for standing up to race or color discrimination, for filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC, or for testifying or assisting in an EEOC proceeding.

In Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, and Seal Beach, California, contact our labor and employment attorneys at Howard Law, PC today.

Panera Bread franchisee settles discrimination lawsuit, The Post-Gazette, December 4, 2012

Sam Covelli, Panera Bread Franchisee, Allegedly Didn't Want Black Employees In Public View, The Huffington Post, September 18, 2012

Discrimination Lawsuit By Black Panera Bread Employee Settled, Black Enterprise, September 12, 2012

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC: Laws Enforced by EEOC

Facts About Race/Color Discrimination, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC

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