Panera pays up for denying promotions to black employees

Dec. 27, 2012

Panera Bread has been ordered by a federal judge to pay employees who were denied promotions because they were "fat, black and/or ugly."

According to Court House News, the complaint was made a year ago by a black employee who claimed his manager said workers like him were ineligible for promotions.

He further claimed that Covelli Enterprises, a Panera franchisee in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, prohibited "fat, black, and/or ugly" employees from working in the view of customers.

The plaintiff received a $10,000 payment, in addition to attorney fees. Covelli also agreed to give each class member 70 extra cents for every hour worked during the settlement period.

The opinion read, in part:

Here, the class members allege that they were flatly ineligible for promotion because of their race and regardless of their job performance. They allege that this prohibition, although not written down anywhere, was the rule at all of defendant's restaurants, and that defendant's managers disobeyed it at their peril.

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Topics: Legal Issues , Operations Management , Staffing & Training

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