Managers of Pine Bluff Restaurant Subjected Black Employee to Racially Hostile Work Environment, Federal Agency Charges
PINE BLUFF, Ark. - H2H Enterprises, Inc., dba Huddle House, violated federal law by subjecting a black employee to a hostile work environment because of her race, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Huddle House subjected Angela Whitfield, who worked as a shift leader at its Pine Bluff restaurant, to racially offensive language. Among other things, members of Huddle House's management team regularly referred to Whitfield and other black employees as "ghetto," "hood," "hood rat," "Huddle ho's" and used the "N-word" when they visited the restaurant.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC. v. H2H Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a/ Huddle House Store #670, Civil Action No. 5:14-cv-00362) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking injunctive relief prohibiting Huddle House from engaging in racial harassment in the future, as well as compensatory and punitive damages for Whitfield.
"We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, yet employees continue to fight for dignity and respect in the workplace," said Katharine W. Kores, director of the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. "Employees should not have to endure a racially hostile work environment to earn a living. The EEOC remains committed to eradicating discrimination in the workplace."
H2H Enterprises, Inc., is a management consulting services company and a franchise partner of Huddle House, Inc. H2H Enterprises owns three Huddle House restaurants in Pine Bluff, White Hall, and El Dorado, Ark.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.