Rosebud Restaurants will pay nearly $2 million for refusing to recruit and hire black employees, and allowing managers to use slurs to refer to blacks.
The payment of $1.9 million will settle a class race discrimination lawsuit filed against the restaurant chain by the federal government in September 2013, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which announced a consent decree in the case Wednesday.
Thirteen Rosebud restaurants in Chicago and the suburbs “refused to hire African-Americans because of their race,” the suit alleged. It also claimed restaurant managers, including owner Alex Dana, “used racial slurs to refer to blacks.”
Many of the firm’s chain of Italian restaurants “had no African-American employees at all,” according to a statement from EEOC announcing the settlement.
The suit was filed after the federal government failed to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree, approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Rowland, calls for Rosebud to “pay $1.9 million to African-American applicants who were denied jobs,” according to EEOC.
Rosebud has also “agreed to hiring goals for qualified black applicants, with the aim that 11 percent of Rosebud’s future workforce be African-American.”
Race discrimination and retaliation will be banned, and Rosebud will be required to “recruit African-American applicants, train employees and managers about race discrimination and retaliation, provide periodic reports to EEOC on compliance…”
The suit covers The Rosebud; Carmine’s; Rosebud on Rush; Rosebud Prime; Mama’s Boy; Rosebud Steakhouse; Rosebud Deerfield; Rosebud in Naperville; and the shuttered Rosebud Old World Italian; Rosebud Theatre District; Rosebud of Highland Park; Rosebud Burger & Comfort Foods; Rosebud Trattoria; Joe Fish; EATT; Bar Umbriago; and Centro.
EEOC Chicago Regional Attorney Gregory Gochanour said in the statement: “African-Americans have faced and still face barriers in being hired at upscale restaurants, especially in visible, and often well-paid, positions such as server. That is why the recruiting and hiring relief in this decree is so important. It will lead directly to qualified blacks being hired for front- and back-of-the-house positions, helping to remedy past discrimination by Rosebud and ensuring equal employment opportunities for future African-American applicants.”