Server Fired Because She Was Dark African-American, Federal Agency Charges
ATLANTA – The Tilted Kilt, a Roswell, Ga., restaurant and pub that advertises itself as “a festive atmosphere” with “attractive cast members eager to put a smile on your face,” violated federal law by firing an African-American employee 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, Civil Action No., 1:11-cv-3223-JOF-JFK, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Najla Salaam was hired by the general manager as a server and completed training. However, her starting date was delayed and she was never scheduled to work. The general manager ultimately told her to look for another job because the owner had concluded that too many black women had been hired. The general manager told the EEOC that he was instructed to terminate Salaam because she was African-American and too dark. The general manager said that because he objected to the owner’s instruction to fire employees based on race, he was also eventually terminated.
Race discrimination in any form violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
“Employers should make employment decisions based only on employees’ abilities and not the color of their skin or their race,” said Bernice Williams Kimbrough, district director for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “The EEOC will act to prevent this type of misconduct.”
EEOC Regional Attorney Robert Dawkins added, “It is not common for the inner workings of discriminatory conduct to be revealed, as it has been in this case. Here, without the EEOC enforcing federal civil rights law, it is likely that such conduct would have continued unabated.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.