A Panera Bread lawsuit is underway between the owners of a well-known franchisee of the famous American sandwich chain and an African American employee for refusing to hire a black person. By Joe Mandak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. PITTSBURGH – An Ohio company that runs many western Pennsylvania Panera bread stores has agreed to settle racial discrimination complaints from several former and current black employees by paying out almost $76,000.

The Panera case is similar to the U.S. Department of Justice complaint against the owner of Memories Pizza in Pittsburgh. There, the government accused the pizza shop owner, James Achilles, of intentionally excluding African Americans from their restaurants. He made it clear that he was a “white man’s pizza shop.” The government alleged that Mr. Achilles made some comments about blacks and the pizza pie that were so offensive that he violated the Civil Rights Act.

In this Panera Bread lawsuit, Mr. Mandak said the workers at the company’s two franchises in Beaver County and one in Butler County had to endure racial slurs from the customers, and from the employees themselves. Some customers made racist remarks about the color of the skin and said things like, “That’s all you have going for you, a big black guy!” and “You’re a monkey; get out of here!” The former manager of the Beaverton, Oregon franchisee even said, “All you niggers need to go to Africa and pick cotton.” This type of behavior was not isolated, according to the employees’ lawsuit.

Mr. Mandak said the former manager of the Beaverton franchisee referred to black people as “monkeys”negroes,” and made comments such as, “All the niggers want to do is go to Africa and pick cotton.” In addition, he said, the employee did not treat black customers as they should be treated. Mr. Mandak called it a hostile work environment and said it has made the employees fearful to talk with customers about the discriminatory comments.

A Panera Bread representative said the company has taken steps to improve its employment practices, and is making efforts to encourage employees to participate in anti-discrimination training programs. According to a statement by the Panera Bread official, the company offers benefits to its employees to encourage them to become involved in the training process and become better advocates for themselves. The company says it also encourages them to attend the local chamber of commerce and work groups and participate in fair trade programs. It says these initiatives are part of an ongoing effort to “do whatever we can to be as transparent as possible about our company and its business practices.”

The lawsuit, filed last week, charges that the Beaverton franchisee violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by making racial comments. According to Mandak, the franchise owner, David Lopez, made statements to employees such as, “It seems like all niggers do is sit around and eat sandwiches,” and “These nigger-lovers won’t even eat bread,” among other comments. He said the employees felt intimidated and they felt that if they complained, they would be terminated or blacklisted. The suit claims this behavior was motivated by the fact that the employees did not want to be subjected to racial slurs. The suit further states that Mr. Lopez also used a racial slur to describe a black customer during a visit.

According to Mandak, the black woman who brought the complaint with her to the company said she felt uncomfortable and upset at the restaurant when the owner said the same thing to her. She said Mr. Mandak’s response to her was offensive and hurtful. According to Mandak, the black woman told the manager about the incident and the manager told her to go to management and get a formal complaint form from another employee. Mandak said the manager told her that she would have to sign the complaint form and provide proof that the complaint was true.

According to the Panera Bread official, the restaurant manager informed the franchisee in writing that if the franchisee did not immediately stop the conduct, then the company would take legal action. The franchisee is also being told that if the franchisee does not take corrective actions, that they could be terminated from their franchise. Mandak is calling on the Panera Bread to fire the franchisee and remove him or her from the franchise if the company believes he is guilty of discrimination. of unlawful employment practice. The lawsuit says the franchisee’s refusal to make necessary changes was an unfair employment practice and the company has the right to file civil and criminal charges against them.

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