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Press Release 04-30-2024

Amerigo Italian Restaurant Owner Companies Pay $60,000 in EEOC Discrimination Suit

Restaurant Settles Federal Charges It Subjected Gay Employee to Hostile Work Environment At Its Memphis Restaurant, Then Fired Him for Complaining

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – J.H.S. Holdings, LLC, and 4Top Hospitality Group, Inc., owners of Amerigo Italian Restaurant, will pay $60,000 and furnish other relief to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) discrimination and retaliation lawsuit, the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Amerigo’s owners subjected an employee to a hostile work environment and discrimination because of his sexual orientation, and then fired him for complaining about the abusive work environment at its Memphis restaurant.

Such alleged conduct violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, including sexual orientation, and retaliation against those who complain about discrimination. The EEOC sued in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division, (EEOC v. J.H.S. Holdings, LLC, and 4Top Hospitality Group, Inc., d/b/a Amerigo Italian Restaurant, Case No. 2:23-cv-02604-SHL-cgc,) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process.

The two-year consent decree settling the suit, entered by U.S. District Judge Sheryl Lipman, requires Amerigo’s owner companies to revise and distribute their anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies, post a notice in the workplace informing employees of the settlement, and provide specialized training to all supervisors, managers and employees. Furthermore, the companies will provide the EEOC with periodic reports regarding any future employee complaints of sexual harassment or retaliation, including a description of each employee’s allegations and the companies’ response.

“All employees should be able to work in an environment free of discrimination irrespective of their sexual orientation, and that includes discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation,” said Faye Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office. “Employers break the law when they fail to stop discrimination they find in the workplace. The EEOC applauds Amerigo’s owners, who agreed to cooperate with us and take steps to prevent future discrimination of this sort.”

Edmond Sims, Jr., acting district director of the Memphis District Office, said, “This lawsuit serves as a reminder that the EEOC will vigilantly enforce the country’s anti-discrimination laws on behalf of all our citizens.”

For more information on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, visit For more information on harassment, please visit For more information on retaliation, please visit

The EEOC’s Memphis District Office has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and 17 counties in Northern Mississippi.

The EEOC prevents and remedies unlawful employment discrimination and advances equal opportunity for all. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.