. Essentially McCormick and Schmicks will only hire African-Amerians to work in the kitchen and behind the scenes, but they don't want them to be seen!!! I USE to eat there for lunch here in Atlanta at least once a month, but I'll be damned if they will ever get another red cent out of me. So I'm asking all fair and like-minded individuals to spread the word and do the same!!! This kind of behavior should not go on or be tolerated in this day in age!!!
African-American Employees Charge McCormick & Schmick’s Restaurants with Job Discrimination in Federal Court
Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against National Seafood Chain that
Reserves Best Paying Positions for WhitesSan Francisco, May 11, 2006 -- McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, Inc., a group of 61 upscale restaurants across the nation, has been charged with violating federal and state laws against race discrimination in employment in a class action lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Claiming that the restaurant chain fails to hire qualified African Americans and instead favors white job applicants and employees in an effort to present a "white image" to the public, African-American job applicants and current employees of McCormick & Schmick's filed Wynne, et al. v. McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, Inc.
, represented by Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area, and several other law firms. "McCormick & Schmick's is making employment decisions based on skin color," stated attorney Diana C. Tate, head of the African-American Agenda at the Lawyers' Committee. "Whites are hired for positions in the front of the restaurants as servers, hostesses/hosts, and bartenders. African Americans are either not hired or relegated to low paid, menial jobs where they do not interact with the public.
This discrimination and segregation has no place in twenty-first century America.""McCormick & Schmick's touts 'We are in the business of People -- our employees and our guests.' But the company fails to live up to the promise of treating all employees equally and fairly," said Bill Lann Lee
, a partner at Lieff Cabraser and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Justice. "McCormick & Schmick's uses racial stereotypes to deny job opportunities and promotions to thousands of qualified African American applicants and employees."A central allegation in the lawsuit is that McCormick & Schmick's has a nationwide corporate policy and practice of preferring white employees over African American employees for "front-of-the-house" positions. These are the prominent, better-paying jobs, including server, hostess/host, and bartender. Plaintiff Dante Byrd was not hired as a bartender at McCormick & Schmick's Berkeley restaurant despite having a diploma from bartending school and seven years experience as a bartender. The lawsuit also charges that McCormick & Schmick managers throw away applications from African American job seekers without seriously considering them. In addition, the complaint alleges that managers have been instructed by corporate headquarters to "clean up the restaurant," meaning to hire fewer African Americans, to keep the African American employees away from front-of-the-house positions, and to subject African American employees to harsher discipline.
While promotions are preferentially given to white workers without requiring a formal application process, African American employees are denied promotions to management positions at McCormick & Schmick's restaurants throughout the United States, the suit alleges.The few African Americans lucky enough to be hired are disproportionately assigned to "back-of-the-house" positions. These positions include bussers, bar backs, and less desirable kitchen positions. The few African Americans assigned to server positions are given less desirable shifts and table assignments. Plaintiff Juanita Wynne is the only African American server at McCormick & Schmick's Fresh Fish Grotto in Berkeley. "I have worked hard as a server at the restaurant since 1999, but I haven't been treated fairly. My shifts and pay were cut for no good reason, while white servers' shifts and pay were not," Wynne said. Wynne, a 28-year-old resident of Berkeley, filed a complaint last year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which granted her the right to sue.McCormick & Schmick's operates restaurants across the United States under various names, including McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant, McCormick's Fish House & Bar, M&S Grill, The Heathman Restaurant, Jake's Famous Crayfish, Jake's Grill, and Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto in Berkeley, California. The company employs more than 5,400 workers. Although the restaurants have different menus and designs, the lawsuit charges that they all are run by the same corporate management, follow the same human resources policies and practices, and participate in the same racial discrimination. The suit seeks an injunction to reform the discriminatory practices of McCormick & Schmick's and the institution of company programs to ensure equal employment opportunities for African Americans. In addition, the suit is seeking back pay, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages for all class members.Attorneys announced that employees of McCormick & Schmick's who wish to report their experiences at the restaurants or learn more about the lawsuit should contact them by calling toll free (866) 854-4165 or visiting the website www.lieffcabraser.com/mccormickcomplaints.htm
Representing plaintiffs are the San Francisco offices of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area, the Thomas A. Warren Law Offices of Tallahassee, Florida, Lewis Feinberg Renaker & Jackson, P.C., of Oakland, California, and Lafayette & Kumagai of San Francisco, California. Reporters who wish to obtain a copy of the complaint should contact Amy Yu of Lieff Cabraser at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (415) 956-1000.Source/Contact:James M. Finberg
Bill Lann Lee