Blacks sue Waffle House restaurant for discrimination – Law & Justice – Brief Article
Four Blacks recently filed a federal lawsuit accusing employees and a security guard at a Waffle House restaurant in Gastonia, NC, of racial discrimination and mistreatment.
The lawsuit alleges the discrimination occurred after midnight on July 15, 2000. Customer Kenneth Parker of Charlotte says he was seated at the counter when a White waitress sprayed him with water but didn’t offer him a towel or apologize. Parker claimed the waitress called him a “monkey” when he asked for an apology.
According to the suit, Parker had been waiting 35 minutes to order when another Black customer, Eddie Brown, sat next to him. Allegedly two White couples sat down and were served first, even though Brown and Parker waited longer.
Once Brown got his food, the lawsuit states, the waitress spilled his coffee on him, threw a coffee cup lid at him and tossed his bag of food on his lap. When Brown asked for the ketchup and plastic utensils, she allegedly threw them at him as well.
The lawsuit also states that two Black women, Audrey Carroll and Michelle Byers, arrived at the restaurant, but a security guard told them they couldn’t enter even though they saw empty seats through the restaurant’s window. A White customer was allowed to walk in later even after Carroll tried to enter again, it is claimed.
Charlotte-based Purser Security and Patrol Services Inc., which provides security for the Gastonia Waffle House, was also named in the lawsuit.
At JET press time Waffle House officials said in a statement that they and Georgia-based Hillcrest Foods, owner of the Gastonia franchise, had not heard of the alleged incidents.
“We take all our customers and complaints seriously because it is our goal to serve all customers from all races and backgrounds,” the statement read.
Charlotte lawyer Henderson Hill has filed similar lawsuits in the past year alleging discrimination at Waffle Houses in Charlotte and Monroe, NC. “The question these citizens raise is whether their treatment reflects a discriminatory culture maintained by the Waffle House franchise,” Hill said at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. “It does appear to reflect more than the misconduct of a single employee.”
COPYRIGHT 2002 Johnson Publishing Co.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group