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Friday, September 18, 2015

Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles Ordered to Pay $1.6 Million in Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

by Compton Herald - September 13, 2015

LOS ANGELES (MNS) — Not so tasty news for a Southern California institution.

Popular southern-style diner Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles, the iconic Los Angeles restaurant empire lost a racial discrimination lawsuit that will set them back $1.6 million, unless a higher court of appeals overturns a lower court’s decision.

The suit was first brought by Compton resident and former employee Daniel Beasley, who worked for a time at the Pico Boulevard location of Roscoe’s. While there, Beasley says he was the recipient of racial discrimination at the hands of all-Latino management. Those claims include unfair treatment in the workplace, issues with shift scheduling, and — after Beasley complained to HR and Roscoe’s ownership — retaliation that ultimately ended with him being fired.

A Southern California jury sided with Beasley, awarding the man the prodigious million dollar sum in personal damages. The notoriously tight-lipped family-owned brand, which popularized fried chicken and waffles at seven locations in the southland since the 1970s, hasn’t replied to various requests for comment.

Management also “gave preferential treatment and better working schedules to Latino employees,” Beasley said.“(Roscoe’s) is owned by an African-American, but he gives full authority to [Latinos] to run it,” said Beasley, who added, he was harassed by management at the Pico boulevard location for being African-American.

“It just caught me by surprise because here I am fired, but I’m trying to fix the problem,” Beasley said. “You can’t treat people like that and get away with it, constantly.”

Beasley’s attorney, Scott Cummings, expressed the hope that the jury’s decision will send a clear message to all businesses against discrimination.

“Racism, racial harassment can occur, really, anywhere, even, you know, in a Black-owned business,” Cummings said.

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