Applebee’s franchisee settles EEOC discrimination suit


A Florida franchisee of Applebee’s Restaurants LLC has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a sexual orientation and race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency said Monday.

According to the EEOC lawsuit, two staff members of a Plant City, Florida, Applebee’s restaurant operated by Tampa-based Neighborhood Restaurant Partners Florida LLC verbally harassed a Black employee by subjecting him to racial and homophobic epithets on a consistent basis.

In addition, one of the harassers wore Confederate flag paraphernalia while he was working at the restaurant, the EEOC said in a statement.

Restaurant management took no action despite the employee’s complaints, the EEOC said. He eventually tried to contact NRP’s corporate offices, after which his scheduled hours were cut and he was forced to quit, the agency said.

The company was charged with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In addition to the $100,000 payment, the three-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit requires NRP to provide specialized training on sexual orientation and race discrimination, among other provisions.

NRP’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.

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