Red Lobster, Olive Garden Not Promoting Blacks to High Paying Jobs?
Former employees prepare a racial discrimination lawsuit against the parent company of the popular food chains
Visit any Red Lobster, Olive Garden or LongHorn Steakhouse and you'll undoubtedly see people of color as waiters, bartenders and managers. There is no question you'll see them seated in the booths feasting on all you can eat bread sticks. However, according to some former and current employees that is where the diversity ends. A new lawsuit claims that Darden Restaurants, which owns previously mentioned popular restaurant chains and the upscale Capital Grille hasn't been promoting or hiring people of color in high positions.
Color of Change, which has published a petition letter for supporters of the lawsuit points out the key issues:
Black applicants are rarely hired at the Capital Grille, the only place within the Darden Restaurants company where workers can earn a living wage. And there’s no clear pipeline for workers to get from jobs at Red Lobster and Olive Garden (other brands owned by Darden) to that higher-paid work.
Ironically, Darden Restaurants CEO is Clarence Otis Jr., an African-American businessman, who has bragged about the companies "talent evaluation process". Yet, some employees believe that process has more to do with skin color than expertise or potential.
Color of Change also reports:
Darden runs nearly 2,000 restaurants nationwide and boasts annual sales of $7.5 billion.8,9 But the few Black workers who make it into the big leagues there often don't stay very long. According to reports from two Black servers who worked at Darden's Capital Grille in DC -- a restaurant patronized by politicians, lobbyists, and others in the Washington elite -- Black front-of-the-house staff were let go en masse within a short period of time because they “didn’t fit the company image.” They were all replaced by White workers.
To learn more about the lawsuit or to lend your support to the online petition visit ColorofChange.org.