Rosebud Restaurants, Inc. will pay $1.9 million and furnish other relief to settle a class race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC), the federal agency announced recently.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, 13 Italian restaurants operated by Rosebud in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs refused to hire Blacks because of their race. The EEOC also charged that managers, including Rosebud owner Alex Dana, used racial slurs to refer to Blacks. At the time EEOC began investigating Rosebud’s hiring practices, many of its restaurants had no African-American employees at all. The EEOC also asserted that Rosebud violated federal regulations by failing to maintain employment applications for one year and by failing to file employer information reports providing employment data by job category, race, ethnicity, and gender.
Race discrimination in hiring violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed the suit against Rosebud on Sept. 17, 2013 (case number 13-cv-6656) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit resulted from a charge of discrimination filed by former EEOC Commissioner Constance Baker.
The consent decree settling the suit, approved by Magistrate Judge Mary Rowland, calls for Rosebud to pay $1.9 million to African-American applicants who were denied jobs. Additionally, Rosebud has agreed to hiring goals for qualified Black applicants, with the aim that 11% of Rose- bud’s future workforce be African-American. In addition, the decree enjoins Rosebud from engaging in race discrimination or retaliation in the future. It also requires Rosebud to recruit African-American applicants, train employees and managers about race discrimination and retaliation, provide periodic reports to EEOC on compliance with the decree’s terms for four years, and post notices informing employees of the decree’s terms.
The restaurants covered by the suit include The Rosebud; Carmine’s; Rosebud on Rush; Rosebud Prime; Mama’s Boy; Rosebud Steakhouse; Rosebud Deerfield; Rosebud in Naperville; and the closed restaurants Rosebud Old World Italian; Rosebud Theatre District; Rosebud of Highland Park; Rosebud Burger & Comfort Foods; Rosebud Trattoria; Joe Fish; EATT; Bar Umbriago; and Centro.
Click here to read the update to this story.