Panera Bread franchisee settles discrimination suit

Dec. 4, 2012

About 200 to 300 black Panera Bread employees will receive a payout from Covelli Enterprises, a major Panera Bread franchisee, as part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit that accused the chain of discrimination. A federal judge last week approved the settlement of the suit filed by Guy Vines, who claimed that the company kept black employees on kitchen duty rather than promoting them, according to a story in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

The workers get 70 cents for each hour they worked after a year, which is what they would have earned had they received promotions. Vines will receive an additional $10,000, and the plaintiffs' attorney Sam Cordes will get $66,000.

Warren, Ohio-based Covelli claims that it did not discriminate but is settling to avoid costs and distractions.

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