Discrimination comes in many different forms and is prevalent in many different areas of life. Unfortunately, discrimination is all too prevalent specifically in workplaces across the country. Whether it occurs in fast food restaurants or office buildings, discrimination is not tolerable in any location. In fact, it is against federal law to do so. While many people may be worried about retaliation from superiors for filing an employment law discrimination claim, it is your right to have a workplace free of discrimination. This means everywhere. Even places you wouldn’t normally think of.
A Jackson, Mississippi strip club has recently been at the center of a lawsuit claiming that the club had discriminated against several of its black entertainers. The employer known as Danny’s Cabaret, bills itself as the largest and oldest adult entertainment club in the state of Mississippi. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against Danny’s Cabaret on behalf of Sherida Edwards and three unnamed women after the employer had subjected black entertainers to less advantageous terms and conditions of employment than white entertainers, including maintaining openly segregated dancing schedules.
The lawsuit also claimed that the employer then retaliated against Edwards for filing a complaint to the EEOC. Danny’s Cabaret pressured Edwards to withdraw her complaint against the company. When she did not withdraw the complaint, the club cut Edwards work hours and also forced her to compete with other dancers for spots on what was known as the “Black shift.” The working conditions became so bad for Edwards that she was forced to quit her job as a dancer. The EEOC charged that Danny’s Cabaret had violated federal law, specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with its actions against black dancers.
The EEOC announced the news of the suit’s settlement earlier this week. Danny’s Cabaret will pay $50,000 and provide other relief to the women involved with the suit. The club will also be required to implement new policies and practices in order to prevent racial discrimination and retaliation while also developing a confidential process to bring forth potential discrimination claims and ways to handle the investigation of such effectively. In addition, the club must conduct supervisor and employee training on anti-discrimination and retaliation laws. The EEOC has been aggressive in an effort to eliminate any racial discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.
Although there are a number of federal laws prohibiting discrimination in the work place, many employers do not fully comply with those laws. If you believe that you have been the victim of racial discrimination or retaliation in your office or work space, you may have a potential claim. Whether the acts of discrimination in the work place occurred very subtly or were very overt, we encourage you to talk with an experienced Tennessee employment and labor lawyer at The Higgins Firm. Our team of employment attorneys would be happy to answer any questions and guide you through the legal process.