On behalf of the United States of America, the Attorney General has brought an action against Lots Restaurants, Inc. , alleging racial discrimination in violation of Federal Discrimination Laws. The complaint was filed in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Attorney General contends that the company has engaged in what he has called “a practice of denying the full and equal enjoyment of its goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations to African Americans, to disabled persons in wheelchairs, and to deaf persons.
” In the complaint, the Attorney General specifically identifies the alleged discriminatory practices committed by the company: 1. Our restaurant managers allowed our white servers to refuse to attend to African American customers. In addition, he cites that our managers instructed other servers, who were not assigned to those tables, to wait to black customers; 2. Black customers were restricted to the smoking section of the restaurant, while wheelchair-bound customers were seated nearest to the bathrooms;
Inferior service was catered to black customers as well as disabled customers by intentionally delaying the service; 4. Inferior service was catered to deaf customers by waiters and other servers who are not fluent in American Sign Language; and 5. The company has a discriminatory policy of hiring only beautiful and buxom women. Accordingly, the U. S. seeks the court’s order declaring the alleged acts as violative of Federal Discriminatory laws. Moreover, the plaintiff also asks the court to order the company to take affirmative steps to remedy the past violations.
After a thorough review of the complaint as well as an investigation on the government’s charges, I have found that the allegations of discriminatory practices are unfounded. In their first allegation, I found out that white servers may opt to refuse to attend black customers. However, they may only do so if they have their hands full already as when they are also attending other tables. Based on my personal observation, I discovered that our servers are especially busy between 7:00 p. m. until 11:00 p. m.
This is also the same time when our black customers usually come in. In such case, our restaurant managers would have to call on other servers to attend to black customers. From what I observed, there were no preferential treatment nor any act of discrimination. In the second allegation, our black customers are not restricted to the smoking section. Under our restaurant regulations, smoking customers are seated in the smoking section. It just so happen that most of our black customers smoke. Accordingly, we have seated them in the smoking section.
However, this does not mean that just because a customer is black that he/she is seated in that section. Restaurant policy directs that a smoking customer must be seated in the smoking section. As for our wheelchair-bound customers, we have seated them close to the bathroom so that they could go in there with ease, and without hassle in moving to the bathroom and back to their table. The third allegation is completely unfounded. There is no intentional delay in our service to black customers.
I have personally observed this. The quality and pace of our service is the same as that which we cater to our white customers. In the fourth allegation, it is true that our servers are not fluent in American Sign Language. However, there was no intentional discrimination in this case. It is just a matter of the lack of knowledge in ASL on the part of our servers. In view of prevailing regulations, I suggest that we train our waiter and other servers so that we may serve our deaf customers more efficiently.
As for the fifth allegation, it is our management prerogative to hire beautiful women since our business requires good-looking women that will cater to our customers. In view of these allegations, I think only the fourth allegation has a substantive value. Accordingly, I suggest that we train our servers to be able to communicate in American Sign Language so that we could serve our customers more efficiently.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — http://www. eeoc. gov/policy/vii. html