DENVER (KDVR) — Landry’s Seafood House, a national chain with several locations, is being sued after an employee in Englewood claimed she was being harassed for her national origin and the company failed to intervene.
According to a release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the employee is Iranian and was mocked by other employees, including supervisors and managers.
“Workers, regardless of their country of origin, should be treated equally and fairly in the workplace,” Amy Burkholder, director of the EEOC’s Denver Field Office, said in an emailed release.
The EEOC says the discrimination included mocking her accent and physical appearance and that it negatively impacted her pay.
The unnamed worker made complaints to the restaurant’s GM and even the company’s human resource department but they “failed to stop the harassment,” according to the EEOC, and even let her go as an employee.
“An employer must take seriously any allegations that an employee is being treated differently due to their nationality, including harassment about their accent or other cultural differences,” Burkholder said.
As part of the lawsuit, which the EEOC says it filed after trying to get a pre-litigation settlement, Landry’s is being asked to put new policies in place to eliminate discrimination and add training. The EEOC is also suing for compensation for the Iranian employee based on her financial losses, pain, suffering and inconvenience.
In the lawsuit against Landry’s Seafood House, the EEOC says the restaurant is located in Englewood but doesn’t specify a date. Landry’s used to have a location at 7209 S. Clinton Street that closed in 2020.
The parent company, Landry’s Inc., also owns dozens of national chains. In Colorado, there are locations of Saltgrass, Del Frisco’s Grille, Downtown Aquarium Restaurant, Chart House and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Landry’s sent the following statement:
“We are familiar with the alleged claims and refused to be pressured by the EEOC’S settlement demands. We don’t have any comments about the merits of this matter, however, there are two sides to every case and will be happy to litigate this lawsuit in front of an impartial trier of fact,” Steve Scheinthal, executive vice president & general counsel at Landry’s Inc., said.