Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Man files an employment discrimination claim after losing his job

Many California readers may enjoy treats from local bakeries and cafes, but sometimes behind the scenes, the environment is not as sweet. A man, who happens to be black, worked for a cupcake shop in another state and claims that he was harassed and retaliated against because he spoke out about discriminatory behavior. He has since filed an employment discrimination claim to try to right the wrongs against him.

The plaintiff began working for the shop in 2013 as a server and a cashier. Not long after he was hired, he overheard a white co-worker making an inappropriate racial comment about a black co-worker. This allegedly disturbed the plaintiff, so he brought up what had transpired at a staff meeting and suggested sensitivity training, but nothing came of it.

Over time, the plaintiff began to notice differences in the way that non-black employees were treated compared to black employees. The man said that he was forced to shave his facial hair and wear a hairnet, whereas white employees were not. He had also been ill and needed to take off work on two occasions, and for doing so, he was disciplined. The plaintiff alleges that when a white co-worker was substantially late for his shift, he did not receive any discipline.

Sometime later, a female black employee had come to the plaintiff upset because she had been called a racial slur by one of the white workers. There was a staff meeting that day, so the plaintiff brought up the matter, which apparently caused a lot of tension during the meeting. The plaintiff later complained that he felt sick and was told to go home.

The plaintiff was terminated three days after the meeting. He spoke with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights about what had happened and was given permission to file an employment discrimination. It is illegal for employees in California and elsewhere to be subjected discriminatory behavior based on protected status characteristics. Those who feel they are aggrieved can look to the law for justice.

Source:, "Lawsuit: Black Employee of Cupcake Shop Fired After Reporting White Colleague's N-Bomb", Nicholas Phillips, July 30, 2015

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