On The Border Mexican Grill Face Race Harassment Lawsuit

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On The Border, a popular Tex-Mex restaurant faces race harassment allegations. According to the suit, Michael Carethers, an African-American cook at the restaurant’s Holtsville, NY location, was regularly subjected to verbal assaults including harassment and offensive language from his co-workers. Allegedly, the co-workers used offensive racial slurs and other offensive terms to refer to Carethers. According to the suit, the restaurant failed to stop the harassment.

According to the lawsuit, On the Border’s management was aware of the situation and, in some cases, present during the time of the harassment. Management failed to stop the abuse or address the situation by disciplining those employees who were involved. The complaint states that the harassment was occurring multiple times per week.

Discrimination based on race (and other bases) is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It also prohibits retaliation for reporting or openly opposing discrimination. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Pre-litigation settlement discussions through conciliation were not successful. Plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief to prevent this situation from recurring.

According to the company’s website, On the Border is the U.S.’s largest casual Mexican restaurant chain and currently has more than 140 locations with 6,000 employees across the country.

If you need to discuss an issue of discrimination in the workplace or if you have been discriminated against during the employment application process, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.