A former Red Robin employee is suing the burger chain because she claims she was fired for complaining about racist hiring practices at the Coeur d’Alene location in Idaho.
Stacie Ward had been with Red Robin for over 11 years, working at many different locations. When she transferred to the Coeur d’Alene location, which had just opened, another employee transferred with her. Stacie says this man, who was African-American, was fired not long after starting, for the minor violation of wearing headphones while working.
Not long after this, Stacie, who was in charge of screening and interviewing most potential employees, met with a young black man applying for a job in the restaurant. She felt the man was qualified, and recommended a formal interview for him. Stacie said that when the assistant manager saw the applicant, he took Stacie aside and informed her that they would not hire a person of color. Stacie says the manager used an offensive racial slur and admitted that the man who had been fired for wearing headphones had been fired because of his race.
When Stacie objected to the manager’s comments and hiring decisions, she began facing retaliation from the managers of the restaurant. She suddenly found herself receiving false complaints from the managers and “customers” about her job performance, and was fired shortly after, all because she spoke up against something that was unjust. Stacie contacted the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and filed a complaint. Without her income, Stacie says she lost her home, health insurance, and retirement savings, and is suing to cover these damages.
If you have faced retaliation for being a whistleblower or if you have faced discrimination of any kind in the workplace, contact an Arizona labor and employment law attorney today.