Federal Agency Charges Danny's Restaurant Discriminated Against Black Entertainers, Retaliated Against Them When One Protested
JACKSON, Miss. -- Baby O's Restaurant, Inc., a Mississippi corporation doing business in Jackson, Miss., as Danny's Cabaret , a "gentlemen's club" featuring "adult entertainment," violated federal law by subjecting four black female entertainers to discrimination because of their race, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on Sept. 28. The EEOC also alleged the restaurant retaliated against the discrimination victims after one filed a charge of discrimination.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Danny's violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it subjected black entertainers to less advantageous terms and conditions of employment than white entertainers, including subjecting African-American entertainers to arbitrary fees and fines, forcing them to work on less lucrative shifts, and excluding them from company advertisements, all because of their race. The EEOC also charged that Danny's retaliated against the entertainers by reducing their work hours when one of them engaged in activity protected by Title VII, including filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC. The company's conduct was so seriously damaging to the employee who filed the discrimination charge that she was forced to leave her employment.
Title VII prohibits race discrimination and retaliation against employees who complain about race discrimination. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Baby O's Restaurant d/b/a Danny's, Case No. 3:12-cv-0068) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi after an investigation was completed by the agency, and after the agency attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The suit seeks monetary damages, including back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, reinstatement into the positions the complaining employee previously held, and injunctive relief.
"Some employers readily retaliate against employees who seek the protection afforded them by Title VII. By bringing this lawsuit, the EEOC is putting employers on notice that EEOC will not tolerate that type of misconduct," said C. Emanuel Smith, regional attorney for the EEOC's Birmingham District Office.
Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director for the EEOC's Birmingham District, added, "Discrimination against American employees is unlawful, no matter what kind of business it is. The EEOC will not leave employees unprotected against illegal misconduct because of the nature of their jobs. This agency will take on violations of Title VII in all workplaces under its jurisdiction."
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The EEOC's Birmingham District consists of Alabama, Mississippi (except 17 northern counties) and the Florida Panhandle. Further information about the
EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.