Lawsuit Claimed Discrimination and Retaliation Against Black Female Entertainers
JACKSON, Miss. - A Jackson, Miss., "gentlemen's club" which features "adult entertainment" will pay $50,000 and furnish other relief to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC's charged that Danny's Cabaret violated federal law when it subjected four black female entertainers to less advantageous terms and conditions of employment than white entertainers, including openly segregated work schedules. The EEOC also charged that Danny's retaliated after one of the entertainers complained about discrimination by reducing the work hours for each of the entertainers and forcing one of the entertainers to quit to escape the mistreatment.
Race discrimination and retaliation against employees who report or complain about unlawful discrimination in the workplace violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (No. 3:10-CV-00681) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The court issued a two-year consent decree settling the litigation on June 28th. Under the decree, Danny's will implement new policies and practices designed to prevent racial discrimination and retaliation, conduct supervisor and employee training on anti-discrimination and retaliation laws and establish a confidential process for persons to submit discrimination and retaliation complaints. The process will include employer protections of non-retaliation and requirements for a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation. Danny's will also post notices at the work site and provide other injunctive relief, including providing reports to the EEOC on new allegations of race discrimination and retaliation during the two-year period.
"Employers who allow their workplaces to be havens for racial harassment and retaliation are not meeting their obligations under federal law," said Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director for the EEOC's Birmingham District Office. "When employers choose not to meet those obligations, the EEOC is prepared to pursue all appropriate means to hold them accountable."
Steven Murray, senior trial attorney for the EEOC's Birmingham District Office, said, "This action demonstrates the EEOC's broad commitment to eradicating racial discrimination and retaliation in all workplaces. We are pleased that Danny's has resolved this matter early in the litigation and will be a leader in implementing better policies and procedures to eliminate discrimination."
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The EEOC's Birmingham District consists of Alabama, Mississippi (except 17 northern counties) and the Florida Panhandle. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.